Are we allowing the silent extinction of giraffes

Giraffe survival is in danger: according to the giraffe conservation Foundation giraffe numbers have fallen from 140000 and 80000 in the last 20-years. Yet other organisations suggest that the current number of wild giraffes is only 68000.

The Reticulated Giraffe, currently 15,000 live wild down from around 36,000 30 years ago

How can we possibly let such a unique looking animal disappear from the world. Giraffes are a common sight in zoos, it is often one of the young child’s most liked animals. How can we let this happen? If we’re not careful we are going to have to explain it to our children’s children.

The politicization and removal of the scientific method from decisions on the endangered status of animals in the USA is shown in its worst on this issue.

Conservation organisations are currently suing the USA, for giraffes’ inclusion under they’re endangered species act. Between 2006 and 2015, 3744 giraffes were imported into the USA as trophies that have been killed by American citizens.

This is why it matters that the USA has a leader, who appears to be scientifically illiterate. Unfortunately America as a country holds so much of the world’s money,that it’s citizens are able to push the giraffe closer to extinction despite it not living in their country.

It is argued that hunting is not the biggest threat to giraffes, and the money brought in by giraffe hunting often pays for their conservation. This is certainly an argument that some people could make, however I would suggest that a simple way of making sure hunting is not leading to extinction, is for a law to be enacted banning the import of hunting trophies from any country where the animal hunted has a declining population.

This would remove the right for each individual president’s administration to write the rules on what can be hunted based on their own feelings. It would instead simply become a question of is the population increasing or not (other grounds should be thought of too, for instance should an animal like a polar bear be hunted given the likely deadly threat global warming holds for the polar bear population at large).

In the case of Trump,he has proved over and over again that he does not care about the natural world.he couldn’t care less if the giraffe is pushed to extension in specific parts of Africa – are the parts of the political system in America must stand up and stop this idiocy.

This is coming to a head because the coalition of conservation organisations petitioned the United States field and wildlife service on this matter 3-years ago.there is a legal requirement to respond to a petition like this within one year. The initial launching of the suit forced the government to concede that giraffes qualify for protections under the endangered species act, however in the 2 years since they have done nothing.

Obviously this is useless,if you say that an animal should have the rights for protections under the endangered species act but do not make it the case they do not get the protection and they can be pushed to extinction.

The argument is that rather than acting on the science, this American government agency is pandering to the trophy Hunters.

Given the fact that these conservation groups have not been able to get data beyond 2015 despite this data having been compiled for the last 5-years would give their argument significant legitimacy.

CITES a separate organisation, doing similar work in listing the endangered status of animals around the world listed of giraffes as endangered in 2019. It should be noted that giraffes actually consist of a number of different subspecies, many of which are highly endangered such as the reticulated giraffe of Kenya.

One of the problems on this front is that the IUCN lists only one species of giraffe with 9 subspecies. Scientifically (and many other organisations classify them this way) the giraffe should be listed as  different species: reticulated northern southern and Masai, as well as 5 subspecies.

Southern giraffe population seems to be doing well, as this is currently the most heavily hunted it currently appears to be sustainable.

A bigger threat is habitat loss and fragmentation as well as human animal conflict.

The northern giraffe numbers only 5600, and is critically endangered. There are fewer northern giraffes in the wild then black rhino, an animal known to be seriously endangered.

The one advantage of such a ridiculously protracted fight to avoid with the ESA (endangered species act), is the fact that this keeps its profile high in the news. While under Trump America may not do the right thing, putting a spotlight on the plight of the giraffe may make the rest of the world save the giraffe and force America to behave in a more sensible manner.

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