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SOURCE: India Today

DATE: December 15, 2018

SNIP: Two subspecies of giraffes were recently added to the list of “critically endangered” species for the first time ever, as per athelatest report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which administers the world’s official endangered species list.

The next slots after ‘vulnerable’ are ‘endangered’, ‘critically endangered’, ‘extinct in the wild’, and ‘extinct’. Thus, if we do nothing about it, giraffes could become extinct in the wild in the medium-term future.

There are nine subspecies of giraffes. Five of them are declining in numbers, two are improving, and one is stable.

The dwindling populations of giraffe species — some as low as 400 — happened so quietly that barely anyone got an idea of the tallest land animals reaching so close to disappearing off the face of Earth. They are shockingly more endangered than any gorilla.

Giraffes have already disappeared from seven countries — Eritrea, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Malawi, Mauritania, and Senegal. They have been in danger for the last century in Africa.

Other than poaching or villagers eating its meat for food scarcity, they are also shockingly killed just for their tails as they are seen as a status symbol in some cultures and can be used as a dowry.