Posted on 20th June 2019 by Media Relations
Currently there is estimated to be 111,000 Giraffe roaming in Africa wide and whilst this may seem a lot they are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. Giraffe are currently going through what is being called the silent extinction. But what is a silent extinction? Unlike the well documented plight of African Elephants, White Rhinos and other iconic African species, the decline of Giraffe has gone largely unnoticed. The number of Giraffe left in the wild pales in comparison to African Elephants for example, which numbers are roughly around 450,000. This is why it is being called the silent extinction.
The main threats to the Giraffe in the wild are habitat loss, habitat degradation, human population growth, poaching, disease, war and civil unrest. All of these issues threaten the remaining giraffe numbers and their distribution throughout Africa.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo has partnered with Biliqo-Bulesa Conservancy, a branch of the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), to sell beadwork made by over 600 women in Northern Kenya. This initiative allows communities to have an alternate income to livestock which competes with wildlife such as giraffe for resources like water and vegetation. Put simply, more beads sold = less livestock = more wildlife.
Visitors to the Zoo can purchase the beadwork from the Zoo shop with proceeds going toward improving wildlife security and rangeland health in Kenya; the giraffe’s natural habitat.
By Giraffe Keeper, Jack Foley