Stick Your Neck Out for the Giraffe
Feb 15, 2021
Known for its towering height and mosaic coat pattern, the African giraffe is one of the continent’s most iconic animals. It also measures up as the tallest land mammal found on this planet. But despite its sky-high size and global popularity, the giraffe is currently facing what some experts have called a “publicity problem.”
Overshadowed by movements to save Africa’s other endangered animals, the giraffe’s population numbers are quickly dwindling, pushing the species closer each day towards the threshold of extinction.
When it comes to saving the giraffe, half the battle lies in raising awareness. But in order to bring global attention to these towering creatures’ tragic situation, we first need to understand the challenges currently contributing to their rapid population declines.
Lack of Awareness and Research Data
In the last thirty years alone giraffe populations in Africa have plummeted by a tragic 40%, leaving less in the wild than ever before. Unlike other African animals currently facing population declines, however, the giraffe has received extraordinarily little attention or aid. The lack of vocal support for giraffes when it comes to conservation initiatives has even led some experts to deem the animal’s tragic situation as a “silent extinction.”
This lack of support has created a dangerous absence of data and research about the animal. In comparison to the giraffe’s well-known endangered counterparts (such as the elephant, rhino and even zebra), conservationists have very little meaningful data on the creature. Nothing drives the point home harder than the simple fact that the first detailed study on the giraffe wasn’t conducted until 2016. Up until then, we didn’t even have an understanding of how many sub-species existed.
As population numbers rapidly decline, this gaping lack of research presents serious challenges, especially when it comes to saving the species from extinction. In terms of what we do know about the giraffe, only one thing seems certain: we simply don’t know enough.
Habitat Destruction and Poaching
When it comes to the contributing factors behind population declines, the giraffe’s story is tragically familiar. Like elephants, lions, gorillas and Africa’s other struggling species, these towering mammals struggle to survive under the weight of habitat loss and poaching. Unlike other endangered animals, however, there are far fewer initiatives focused specifically on giraffes—and with less awareness comes less funding and resources.
While Africa’s other endangered animals have dedicated programs, the giraffe’s conservation initiatives are largely unregulated. When it comes to habitat destruction, few measures exist to protect the giraffe. The lack of support for anti-poaching initiatives has also made the giraffe an easy target for poachers, who often slaughter the magnificent creatures just for their tails.
Conservation Efforts—How You Can Help
It’s not too late to stop the so-called “silent extinction,” but it’s going to require that we get vocal and active about giraffe conservation in Africa. To have a shot at saving the species, the giraffe’s conservation movement needs not only to boost awareness about the animal’s current situation—it also needs to raise the funds and interest that make proper research studies possible
With relevant data, experts will have a better shot at finding long-term solutions that will bolster population numbers and keep the giraffe a present wonder rather than a past regret. But research, like anything, comes with a hefty price tag. It also demands that the public wake up to the somber realities facing giraffes. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to help.
The giraffe’s biggest hurdle is a publicity problem—we can’t save them if no one knows they’re on the brink of tragedy. That’s why African Dream foods is putting a spotlight on these gentle giants by featuring them on both our sauces and seasonings. Our goal? Selling millions of bottles to help raise awareness about an animal that’s suffering in the shadows.
Each time you buy one of ADF’s small-batch hot sauces or seasonings, a portion of your purchase will be donated to top conservation organizations that are working at the heart of wildlife research and conservation.
Saving the giraffe might be a tall order, but with your help and contributions it’s definitely within reach.