Help Us Protect Endangered Giraffes
In just the past 30 years, the giraffe population has declined by 40% around the globe. By 2016, the species was labeled as “vulnerable” and two years later several subspecies were reevaluated to find many were considered “endangered,” including:
- Kordofan giraffe- Critically Endangered
- Nubian giraffe- Critically Endangered
- Masai giraffe- Endangered
- Reticulated giraffe- Endangered
- Thornicroft’s giraffe- Vulnerable
- West African giraffe- Vulnerable
We know what you are thinking. How could we have let it get this far, what are caused this, and how can we help?
Well, ironically enough, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) did not begin protecting giraffes until 2019, a whole three years after they were scientifically recognized as vulnerable. At the time of their intervention, there were a mere 68,000 mature giraffes left, primarily due to:
The majority of giraffes live in Africa, where ecosystems are extremely fickle and even the smallest change can impact several food chains. A shift in weather patterns can kill plants that are needed to sustain multiple species.
As a response to these pattern changes, humans implemented dams which restricted giraffe movement and limited their resources. This in return, impacted their reproduction schedule, mobility, and even newborn mortality rates.
Even after persistent petitioning, giraffes are still not protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In other words, they recieve zero protection from the US government.
As seen with many animal species, human expansion often comes at the expense of natural habitats. And this case is no different.
Mali, Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal, and other African countries experienced a spike in human population, creating an industrial boom. In order to build mines, establish farmlands, and create housing, they developed land that was inhabited by giraffes. As a result, the entire giraffe population was eradicated in these countries.
Africa has been experiencing civil unrest since 1947, but most recently, they entered the Central African Republic Civil War in 2012. However, the war has taken its toll on more than just the people of Africa.
With limited resources, law enforcement relaxed their regulation on protected areas, allowing illegal hunting to take place. Studies have shown that 71% of protected African lands were impacted by the civil unrest from 1947-2010, becoming the primary culprit of wildlife endangerment.
In addition to food, giraffes are poached in Africa for their fur, bones, and tails to make jewelry and medicines. Because wild giraffes can only be found in Africa, strict regulations have been implemented on these lands for protection. However, as one can expect, illegal poaching still takes place.
Apart from Africa, the United States has also been linked to the illegal activity by Humane Society International, who did an investigation in 2018. They found almost 50,000 giraffe parts were imported to the US in a span of just nine years.
Even after persistent petitioning, giraffes are still not protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In other words, they receive zero protection from the US government. Although CITES recognizes giraffe vulnerability under Appendix II, this merely regulates giraffe trade rather than banning it.
If giraffes were placed under the ESA, inspectors would be required to vet each foreign import before it crosses the border, ensuring that it doesn’t contain giraffe parts. It would also require listed hunters to obtain a permit that ensures they operated within a compliant conservation hunting program.
Doing Our Part
With less than 100,000 giraffes alive today, we are doing our part to combat giraffe endangerment before it is too late.
So, for the rest of this year, Sophie la Girafe is teaming up with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) to spearhead a translocation program. This operation will reintroduce giraffes into areas where they have gone extinct or their numbers are dangerously low.
With every Save the Giraffes Gift Set sold, Sophie will donate €1 to the GCF to initiate the translocation program. The set includes the original Sophie la Girafe teether and a Sophie keychain for just $33!
For more information on how you can contribute to giraffe conservation initiatives, please visit:
With Love and Gratitude,
The Calisson Toy Family