BY DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY
KOLKATA, 3 JULY 2022
While one is the tallest animal on earth. The other is the longest day of the year. So it is quite apt to select and celebrate the date 21 June globally as the WORLD GIRAFFE DAY.
June 21 is also celebrated as International Yoga Day, Go Skateboarding Day, National Smoothie Day, World Music Day, World Hydrography Day etc.
Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) celebrates 21 June every year as World Giraffe Day as the numbers of the earth’s tallest mammal are dwindling globally and has already been a matter of concern.
According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation , there are about 80,000 to 100,000 giraffes left in the wild, which means that they are approaching the high-risk status.
So it is not a surprise news that In the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, giraffes have recently had their listed status changed to ‘Vulnerable to extinction’ – their numbers in Africa have dwindled by about 40 percent since the past thirty years.
Especially the Masai giraffe has lost half of its numbers in the last three decades , and now only around 32000 are remaining in Tanzania and in southern part of Kenya.
According to the the wildlife experts the main reasons being its reduction in numbers are the loss of habitat due to constant increase in human settlements over the decades.
There are four separate species of giraffe in the world. The Masai giraffe that lives on the border between Kenya and Tanzania. The reticulated giraffe and the southern giraffe that lives in countries like Botswana and the northern giraffe, which dominates much of the north of Africa.
The most significant fact of this majestic beast is that no two individuals have the same spots. Every giraffe is different, just like how two people never have the same fingerprints.
World Giraffe Day is celebrated by schools, zoos, NGOs, institutions, governments, and conservation organizations around the world and events are hosted on 21st June every year , to create awareness and
to support the giraffes still living in the wild.
The focus of World Giraffe Day 2022 by GCF is to bring Giraffe back to Mozambique.
We have now set everything in motion to bring the giraffe back to Mozambique in a big way!
“ We’re planning our most ambitious giraffe translocations EVER! Over the next 5 years, together with the Mozambique government and our partners, we are going to move over 350 giraffes to four key areas in the country: Zinave and Banhine National Parks, Maputo Special Reserve and Karingani Game Reserve,” according to GCF.
This series of translocations will more than double the population, re-establish southern giraffes within their historic range and open over 3 million acres of prime habitat for giraffes to thrive, GCF claims.
After years of civil war, combined with habitat loss and fragmentation and largely uncontrolled use of natural resources, only a handful of giraffes remained in all of Mozambique.
Giraffes are considered one of the most threatened large mammal species in Mozambique.
In recent years, after re-introductions and natural migration, the giraffe population is estimated at about 250 South African giraffes, a subspecies of the Southern giraffe.
Saving giraffes is all about collaboration and working with partners.
GCF has now embarked on an exciting new programme to secure a future for giraffes in Mozambique. In partnership with the National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC), Peace Parks Foundation
and the Mozambique Wildlife Alliance we are developing an ambitious giraffe conservation and management programme for the country. Developing a National Giraffe Conservation Strategy and Action Plan to guide all future activities is the first step in achieving the ambitious goal of (re-)populating the country with giraffes and establishing pure populations of South African giraffes as a source for their future biodiversity conservation in Mozambique.
The present giraffe population in the wild is about 1,17,000, which GCF claims about 20 percent increase since 2015 due to its constant vigil, campaigning and various projects undertaken.
But after two (mother and her calf) of the last three living white giraffe species are poached by hunters, the lone survivor, a reticulated giraffe, is living in the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy in Kenya . It has snow white fur.
The top 15 safari animals of Africa are –lion, elephant, giraffe, leopard, rhinoceros, cheetah, buffalo etc