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Reticulated giraffes wading across the shallow river at the border of the Samburu Reserve.

orientalizing / Flickr

The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.

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A Masai giraffe and sunset at Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Ayzenstayn / Moment / Getty Images

Another subspecies of giraffe is now officially endangered, conservation scientists announced Thursday.

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Four Animal welfare groups sued the Trump administration on Thursday for failing to protect Africa's vulnerable giraffes, Reuters reported.

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Conservation groups Tuesday filed a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to respond to a legal petition to protect giraffes under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was required to respond to the April 2017 petition within 90 days, but nearly 17 months have passed with no finding.

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Humane Society

Conservation groups say the United States is playing a role in the significant decline of wild giraffe populations by allowing their skin, bones and other body parts to be sold on the U.S. market.

From 2006 to 2015, the U.S. imported approximately 40,000 giraffe parts and products, thought to represent nearly 4,000 individual giraffes, according to a report released Thursday by Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International.

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Tess Thompson Talley of Kentucky has sparked public outcry after photos of her proudly posing with a black giraffe she killed in South Africa last year went viral.

The big game hunter posted images of the June 2017 hunt onto her social media page. Then last month, the South Africa-based news outlet Africland tweeted out the images with a missive describing Talley as a "White American savage" for shooting down the "very rare" animal.

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By Rina Herzl

Picture an animal enrobed in a fiery, jigsaw-patterned coat. A creature of such majestic height that it towers amongst the trees. As your eyes make their way up its long neck that appears to defy gravity, you find crowned atop its head two Seussian, horn-like protrusions framing dark, curious eyes fanned by lashes. In its truest sense, the giraffe fits the description of a creature plucked from the pages of a fantastical story. Even its species name, Giraffa camelopardalis, comes from the ancient Greek belief that the giraffe is a peculiar camel wearing the coat of a leopard. Meanwhile, the Japanese word for giraffe and unicorn are one and the same.

Today, we continue to walk the Earth with these awe-inspiring creatures, which range across much of Africa. But giraffes are facing what many are calling a "silent extinction." Public awareness and global action is critically due. "These gentle giants have been overlooked," appeals Sir David Attenborough in BBC's Story of Life documentary series aired in late 2016, urging that "time is running out."

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Two white reticulated giraffes, a mother and her calf, were captured on camera at the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservacy in Kenya.

Their creamy coloring is due to a genetic condition called leucism, in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal's skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes.

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Photo credit: Center for Biological Diversity

In response to recent scientific consensus on giraffes' vulnerability to extinction, five wildlife protection groups today petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect Earth's tallest land animal under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

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