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Giraffes May Become Extinct, Scientists Say

Dec 09, 2016 10:26 AM EST

Giraffes are now at risk of extinction as their numbers reportedly dropped by 40 percent in the last 30 years. With all the attention on global warming and climate change, many were surprised to find giraffes slowly disappearing. Scientists believe that if their population declines further, giraffes will be vulnerable to extinction.

Known for their unusually long neck, giraffes are the tallest land animal in the world, and they are mostly housed in zoos. This is why it came as a surprise that they are included in the list of animals that can go extinct in the next few decades.

According to a list published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature or IUCN, the giraffe is one of the animals on the list that was most surprising. Others included are certain plant species such as four different species of mango from Southeast Asia. Furthermore, based on the findings of the IUCN and Birdlife International, about 11 percent of the 742 new species of birds are also in danger.

A report from CBS News indicated that the rapid decline in giraffe population can be attributed to many human activities, the worst being illegal hunting. With the black market still in demand for animal coats which would be sold illegally to different manufacturers of bags and other items, there is still widespread poaching of different animals all over the world.

Another reason for the giraffes' decline in number as explained by the Atlantic is the significant loss of habitat which can be attributed to both man-made and natural causes. With the increase in temperatures, urbanization, loss of surface water, and many more, it is to no surprise that the population of several animals is on a decline. 

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