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Ways of Protection Endangered Species

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A species is categorized as “endangered” if it has a high possibility of being extinct in the near future. It is second in severity in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s conservation status system, following only those labeled “critically endangered.”

Sadly, the world’s population of giraffes has been diminished by 40% in just 30 years, between 1985 to 2016. Only about 68,000 adult giraffes currently remain in the wild. This number is no more than one-fourth of the estimated population of African elephants, which are listed as a threatened species. As a threatened species, these elephants receive protection and funding from the law. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the tallest land animals.

The petition filed to protect giraffes

In April 2017, a petition was filed by environmental and conservation groups for the protection of giraffes, saying that their numbers have significantly diminished and are in danger of extinction. 90 days is the mandated waiting time for a response or action but the announcement from the United States Fish and Wildlife service about its intent on reviewing the giraffes’ conservation status came only last Thursday, about two years after the petition was initially filed. Whether or not the lawsuit filed last December by the groups expedited the process has not been confirmed.

The announcement coming from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service means that it will conduct an in-depth review to assess if these long-necked mammals should be included in the list of threatened animals covered by the Endangered Species Act. Being covered by this act would mean that firmer restrictions will be implemented in the trade of giraffe and its parts. Conservation efforts and campaigns for the preservation of the giraffe population will also be eligible for federal funding.

The Humane Society International is one of the groups that filed the petition. Its manager of wildlife programs and operations, Adam Peyman, said that giraffes are not enjoying the funding and initiatives that other distinctive animals, like the lions and elephants, are getting just because they don’t have that “endangered” status yet.

Some of the top contributors for the decline in the giraffes’ numbers are poaching and habitat loss. The petition cited that in the U.S., 3,744 giraffe trophies were imported in a decade, from 2005 to 2015. Giraffe parts summing up to about 40,000 specimens were imported in that span of time which were used for mostly decorative products.

According to Tanya Sanerib, Center for Biological Diversity’s international legal director who helped initiate the petition, “If something is threatened with extinction, we want to cut off market demand for that species.”

The Endangered Species Act might not be the answer, according to some groups

On the other side of the spectrum, there is Safari Club International which advocates hunting freedom and wildlife conservation. After being presented by the numbers, its president, Paul Babaz, said, “It is obvious to me that a lack of hunting is a cause for the decline in giraffe numbers.”

The group also stated in a media release: “These measures would reduce U.S. hunters’ willingness to pay top-dollar for giraffe hunts. Without offering anything in return, an ESA listing could reduce the revenues and incentives currently being generated by hunting. That means reduced habitat protection, less funding for anti-poaching and fewer benefits for the rural people who live side-by-side with giraffes and other wildlife.”

What you can do to help protect endangered species?

  • Reduce your plastic consumption. Instead of getting new plastic bags every time you buy groceries, bring reusable ones when you can. Reusable straws are also becoming a trend recently, and they are not difficult to carry around because of their small size. Plastic products are not biodegradable so they can possibly end up somewhere they shouldn’t be in the ecosystem, like in the stomach of a fish or around the neck of a turtle.
  • Conserve water. Water is very important for every living creature. Just because we seem to have an abundance of potable water, that doesn’t mean it is the same everywhere else. Little things matter, like turning off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth or reusing the towels in your hotel room.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint. Habitat loss is often driven by the expansion of cities and logging. Instead of driving alone, you can opt to walk, bike, or carpool. Conserve energy and consider if the appliances you are purchasing are energy efficient.
  • Have an effective trash system. Help preserve the animals’ natural habitat by protecting the environment from too much garbage. Reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Learn about the endangered species around where you live. 

 

Our little habits and actions can affect the living things around us. If we are aware of these creatures, we can educate ourselves on how to help them. You can even start by working on your very own backyard. 

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

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