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Endangered giraffes from Africa surrounding a waterhole

Critically Endangered Giraffes: Conservation Status And Other Info

There are only a few critically endangered giraffes left in our world, so how did this happen? Learn more about the problem surrounding the subspecies of giraffes endangered today. and the conservation efforts to keep them from extinction.

The Majestic Yet Endangered Giraffes

Giraffes are one of the most iconic animals of the African savannah. These beautiful creatures have marveled us for centuries with their long necks and striking spot patterns, bearing the title of the tallest animals on Earth.

Unfortunately, their majestic presence is quickly disappearing due to human-driven activities. In fact, giraffes are now considered "Critically Endangered," the highest classification for species in danger of extinction.

It's important to understand why giraffes have become endangered so quickly in order to do something about it. The main causes include habitat loss/fragmentation, hunting for meat and hides, and disease outbreaks.

Climate change has also had an outsized impact—in addition to reducing rainfall and vegetation in giraffe habitats, it also increases pests such as mosquitoes that can transmit dangerous diseases among giraffes.

We need to act fast if we want to save these awesome animals from extinction. It’s high time we show them some well-deserved admiration by supporting conservation initiatives and advocating for policies that would ensure they’re given safe habitats in the wild.

The IUCN Red List

If the Great Elephant Census has taught us anything, it’s that no animal, no matter how big or small, is safe from the dangers of extinction. Sadly, two giraffe subspecies have recently fallen to the list as well, namely the Kordofan and Nubian species.

This status was brought about in part due to habitat destruction, poaching, and even human/wildlife contact. All of these factors have put a strain on the already limited number of giraffes in the wild.

To make matters even worse, animal trafficking networks continue to trade illegally with endangered species like giraffes, reducing their numbers even more.

As of now, there’s fewer than 97,000 mature individuals in the wild. This is quite a steep decrease from their estimated number of 140,000 from two decades ago. More to this point, they’ve also been considered threatened within their native range in Africa.

This is why it's so important for us to take immediate action and help conservation efforts—otherwise, we'll see an even greater decline in giraffe populations in future years. With concerted efforts and continued awareness campaigns, we can ensure that these beautiful creatures remain safe for generations to come.

The Different Giraffe Species and Their Conservation Status

Two African giraffes drinking from a water hole

Did you know that there are actually more than one subspecies of giraffes? Each one faces its own unique conservation status. Here’s a quick rundown:

West African Giraffe (G. c. peralta)

This species has the smallest population of them all, with fewer than 600 individuals left in the wild. The West African Giraffe is listed as Critically Endangered and can only be found in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

Rothschild's Giraffe (G. c. rothschildi)

Approximately 1,700 individuals are left in the wild, this species is listed as Endangered and habitat loss due to human encroachment is one of its main threats of extinction. These giraffes can mainly be located in Uganda and Kenya.

Kordofan Giraffe (G. c. antiquorum)

Approximately 2,000 individuals exist in the wild and this species is considered Near Threatened according to IUCN Red List criteria. The Kordofan Giraffe can be found in Somalia, Sudan, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Benin, and Cameroon, among other countries in Central Africa.

Masai Giraffe (G. c tippelskirchi)

The largest population of giraffes with over 32,500 individuals existing in the wild—this species exists mainly because it's been able to adapt to living near humans better than any other type of giraffe; however, they are still considered Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because they face several threats such as poaching for their meat and hides as well as habitat destruction from human activity like

Threats to Giraffe Populations: Habitat Loss and Poaching

In addition to disease and human conflict, two of the biggest threats to giraffe populations are habitat destruction and illegal poaching.

Habitat Loss

Giraffes depend on the savanna for their survival, but unfortunately, this habitat is disappearing due to human activity. Development projects and industrial agriculture mean that there is less space for giraffes to roam, leaving them increasingly vulnerable to predators and other dangers.


Unfortunately, in parts of Africa where poaching continues to be an issue, giraffes are often killed for their meat, skin, or tail. This illegal activity has reduced the population of some giraffe subspecies by up to 80%.

Although conservation efforts are increasing in some areas, more still needs to be done in order to protect these majestic creatures from being lost forever. We need to work together so that we can ensure a future where giraffes will still be able to roam freely on the savannas they call home.

The World Needs More Giraffes: Conservation Efforts

Two giraffes beside each other

When it comes to preserving the endangered giraffe population, there is a lot being done out there. Conservation agencies, research organizations, and zoos are all actively working on initiatives to protect giraffes from the dangers they face in the wild.

Here are some of those efforts.


Organizations such as The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) are actively engaged in conservation efforts for giraffes in Africa. The GCF works with African governments to provide protection for giraffe movements in areas of high human-wildlife conflict and identify protected core areas where giraffes can thrive with minimal impact from humans.

Breeding Programs

Research organizations like the Giraffe Conservation Program (GCP) are also partnering with zoos to create breeding programs that ensure the genetic diversity of giraffes in captivity, which ultimately helps with reintroduction efforts into the wild when necessary.


Organizations like Big Life Foundation and the International Anti-Poaching Foundation are all actively holding campaigns to fight these barbaric acts against giraffes. They’re also set on educating local communities regarding the importance of preserving wildlife and how to prevent illegal trade of wildlife products such as ivory or bushmeat.

It’s an encouraging moment to be aware that conservation efforts remain strong for these animals as well as other threatened species suffering from a similar plight. Perhaps with more time and support, we can eventually see their darling habitats restored and witness once again as they thrive in their original environment.

How You Can Help: Donate and Raise Awareness for Giraffe Conservation

As frustrating as it may be, many people still aren’t aware of or even acknowledge the fact that giraffes are critically endangered. This is because the marking has been limited to only two of the subspecies.

Still, it is necessary to understand how dire the situation is for these animals. To that point, here are the various ways we can contribute to the conservation of these majestic animals!


As has already been mentioned, there are plenty of organizations with the goal of focusing on conserving and protecting endangered animals, including giraffes. If you have some extra money in your pockets, consider making a donation and supporting various research efforts focused on helping this cause.

You can also choose to support companies that support these causes such as well, such as buying rescue shirts or purchasing ethical products.

Speak Up

You may not think that a single voice can change anything, but it definitely can! Sharing your knowledge and passion with others is one of the best ways to take action for a good cause.

It doesn’t even have to be strangers, you can start by educating your close friends and family. Alternatively, you can share some posts online if that’s more convenient.

Take Action

If you’re not the type to be into doing passive stuff, then the best way to help is by taking action yourself! You can achieve this by volunteering in animal rescue vacations, many of which are directly involved with conserving wildlife habitats.

If physical labor isn’t your best suit, don’t worry because you can also help out to groups that seek to introduce legislation that protects natural habitats. All action counts when it comes to protecting these critically endangered species.


Are giraffes dangerous?

Giraffes will not attack anyone unless provoked or threatened.

Are giraffes endangered in South Africa?

Although they are not legally considered to be critically endangered yet, many species native to Africa are already on the brink of disappearance.

Are giraffes going extinct?

If their population continues to go down, then yes.

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Patty - December 30, 2016

let them go and freedom

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