According to a new report from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, the global giraffe population is shrinking fast, and giraffes may be on their way to extinction. According to the report, "the global giraffe population has plummeted by up to 40% over the last 30 years," which represents a "devastating decline."
The IUCN maintains a "Red List" of species that are in danger of extinction. The giraffe was upgraded from "Least Concern" to "Vulnerable" status.
According to the organization, giraffes are under threat from "illegal hunting, habitat loss and changes through expanding agriculture and mining, increasing human-wildlife conflict and civil unrest," all of which have contributed to the species' dramatic decline — and all of which are the fault of us humans.
Ecologist Derek Lee, founder of the Wild Nature Institute and a contributor to the "Red List" report, told the New York Times on Thursday that if nothing is done in the coming years to help conserve the giraffe population, there would even more "drastic declines," at the "very least."