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Giraffes – Shanmugam IAS Academy


What’s in news?

Giraffes have been accorded protection from unregulated trade as the world finally woke up to their ‘silent extinction’.

Key data’s:

  • Giraffes once ranged over much of the semi-arid savannah and savannah woodlands of Africa.
  • The giraffe has been placed in Appendix II of CITES, which places prohibitions on uncontrolled trade in a species.
  • On the Conference of Parties (CoP) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species or CITES in Geneva passed a resolution to place the giraffe in Appendix II of CITES.
  • It was vital that this species was listed by CITES because up to now it has been impossible to say for certain how much of the giraffe’s huge population decline is due to trade.
  • The Appendix II listing was proposed by Central African Republic, Chad, Kenya, Mali, Niger and Senegal. It was passed by 106 votes in support, with 21 votes against and seven abstentions.
  • Listing on Appendix II is an important step in regulating trade in giraffes, preventing any illegal and unsustainable trade and helping to safeguard this iconic species for future generations.
  • As per its website, Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.
  • Giraffes fall prey to poaching for bushmeat, bones, skin and tail hair, there is also a significant amount of international trade in their bone carvings and trophies.
  • While the Appendix II listing will not stop all trade in giraffe parts, it will ensure this is not contributing to further population declines.

Threats to Giraffe:

International trade in their parts, Habitat loss, Civil unrest, poaching and illegal hunting.

Current status of Giraffe:

  • Only one recognised species of giraffe, with nine sub-species.
  • They have been listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Species Red List since 2016, with some sub-species classified as ‘endangered’’ or ‘critically endangered’.
  • Five of the nine sub-species have only a small wild population, while four have a decreasing population trend. 
  • This is because of Trading of Giraffe and its body parts.


Links to note:

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