“Giraffes Endangered!” – a phrase that seems to be making headlines these days. In an attempt to raise awareness of the conservation of these incredible creatures, many media outlets are reporting that giraffes are becoming endangered in various parts of Africa. One of the most elegant and friendly safari animals, giraffes are a vital part of the African landscape, and we don’t want to imagine a world where they’ve become extinct.
The Long and Short of It
While extinction is a very real threat in some parts of Africa, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) is reporting populations of the Masai giraffe, the species found in Tanzania, are among the most abundant. Thomson Safaris travelers see a number of giraffe towers on any given day – sometimes just yards away from where they’re standing!
The West African Giraffe population, on the other hand, is dangerously low. This species of giraffe is found in a part of Niger that doesn’t have formal conservation practices in place, and the animals in this region have already toed the line of extinction once before.
Thomson guest enjoying the abundance of giraffe near Thomson’s Eastern Serengeti Camp.
Current Threats and Conservation Efforts
What is it that’s causing us to worry about giraffes becoming endangered? These are just some of the greatest threats to giraffes, as determined by the GCF:
- Poaching. Unfortunately, giraffes are sometimes killed for their meat, tail hair, and bones and marrow.
- Predation. The natural circle of life is especially a threat to young calves.
- Loss of habitat. This can be a result of infrastructure development, when land is needed to build homes and businesses.
- Climate change. Droughts and fires can wreak havoc on the land, leaving giraffes with limited food sources.
To diminish these threats, wildlife organizations are focusing on certain giraffe conservation efforts. Our partners at the African Wildlife Foundation are doing a number of things, like working with guides from the Association for the Valorisation of the Ecotourism to track giraffes. They also worked with communities to plant a number of trees for giraffes to feed on.
Want to learn more about giraffes and efforts that contribute to their conservation? Read more on the AWF website.
Author: Thomson Safaris
Thomson Safaris has been providing photographic Tanzania safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro treks for over 35 years.