Instagram – May 18, 2021 @ 15:31
Until recently, giraffe were widely recognized as one single species. New research has however confirmed the existence of four highly distinct giraffe species which split several hundreds of thousand years ago and seemingly do not mate with each other in the wild.
These are: (1) Masai giraffe (Giraffa tippelskirchi), (2) northern giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), (3) reticulated giraffe (Giraffa reticulata) and (4) southern giraffe (Giraffa giraffa).
Only 117,000 giraffe remain in the wild throughout Africa. This equates to only one giraffe for every four African elephant in the wild. Hard to believe! 🦒
Giraffe as one species are currently listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, but separate assessments of each species would likely show three of the four species as Endangered or Critically Endangered – highlighting the need for increased conservation efforts.
Image by @giraffe_conservation
Head over to their page for more information and how to spread awareness of this important work.