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Giraffes facing ‘silent extinction’ as population plunges

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IUCN

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A combination of factors has helped drive down giraffe populations in many parts of Africa

A dramatic drop in giraffe populations over the past 30 years has seen the world’s tallest land mammal classified as vulnerable to extinction.

Numbers have gone from around 155,000 in 1985 to 97,000 in 2015 according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The iconic animal has declined because of habitat loss, poaching and civil unrest in many parts of Africa.

Some populations are growing, mainly in southern parts of the continent.

Until now, the conservation status of giraffes was considered of “least concern” by the IUCN.