Science and TechAnimals and Insects


Giraffes Are Under Threat Of Extinction

Their numbers have dropped 40 percent in the last 30 years.
Posted at 10:05 AM, Dec 08, 2016

The world's tallest land mammal is slowly dying off — but you may not have realized it.

Giraffes have been marked "vulnerable" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature "Red List," which tracks species threatened with extinction.

Giraffe numbers have dropped up to 40 percent in the past 30 years. There were more than 150,000 giraffes in 1985. That number sat around 97,000 in 2015.

The IUCN says illegal hunting and habitat loss from humans caused the drop.

SEE MORE: Humans Could Hunt 301 Species Of Mammals Into Extinction

The lanky animals have gone somewhat under the radar over the past few decades — mainly because scientists focused more on rhino and elephant extinction.

Poaching has decimated those populations. The black rhino population alone is down almost 98 percent since 1960.

And African elephant numbers dropped 30 percent from 2007 to 2014.

As for giraffes, the IUCN calls the current population loss a "devastating decline."