Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Sir David Attenborough: giraffes are facing 'silent extinction'

Sarah Knapton, science editor 18 JUNE 2016 • 6:00AM

Giraffes are facing a ‘silent extinction’ with just 90,000 animals still roaming the African plains, far fewer than the endangered African Elephant, a new documentary warns.

Just 15 years ago there were thought to be around 150,000 giraffes in the wild but since then numbers have slumped by 40 per cent because of habitat loss and poaching.

A new BBC documentary, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, followed a conservation team as they relocated a group of 20 animals across the Nile in Uganda where it is hoped they will be safe from oil prospectors.

“These gentle giants have been overlooked,” said Sir David. “ It’s well known that African elephants are in trouble and there are perhaps just under half a million left.

“But what no one realised is there are far fewer giraffes. Giraffes have already become extinct in seven countries. They are killed for their meat and their habitats are being destroyed. Time is running out.”

Despite the fact that populations number around one fifth of African Elephants, the giraffe conservation status is still graded as of ‘Least Concern.’

Continued ...

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