Q:

Why are giraffes endangered?

A:

The giraffe, or giraffa camelopardalis, is endangered due to habitat loss, the breaking up of habitat areas, the lack of suitability in existing habitats, poaching and new human population growth. Giraffes need to find habitats that protect them from poachers, offer solid food and fluid resources, do not have an abundance of predators and provide an overall stable environment.

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The Giraffe Conservation Foundation is working to provide giraffes with new safe spaces. There are nine subspecies of giraffes and all are endangered; however, the West African giraffe has the fewest numbers according to the GCF. In 2014, the West African giraffe had fewer than 300 members in the world.

The giraffe is an interesting mammal with long legs and a long neck. Its long legs are taller than most human beings at 6 feet and these legs can power a giraffe up to 35 miles per hour. They use their long necks to reach food from the top of trees. Giraffes live approximately 25 years in the wild.

Giraffes are also unique in their coats and with their spots. Each individual giraffe has its own pattern of spots and color. This provides researchers with a way to identify individual giraffes when observing large groups in the wild.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do giraffes have long necks?

    A:

    Giraffes have long necks in order to reach leaves, fruits and flowers high up in trees. They feed on broad-leafed trees in the rainy seasons and on evergreen trees in other seasons. Their long necks allow them to reach leaves that other animals cannot.

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    How long do giraffes sleep?

    A:

    Giraffes only sleep about 30 minutes during a 24-hour period. They tend to sleep in small, 5-minute increments to maintain their safety.

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    What color are giraffes?

    A:

    Giraffe coat colors vary from light tan to nearly black. As of 2014, there are nine definite subspecies of the giraffe that differ in habitat and lifestyle, which accounts for their varying colorations. The markings on one subspecies of giraffe, the Thornicroft, may darken with age.

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  • Q:

    How long do giraffes live?

    A:

    Giraffes can live as long as 25 years on the open grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa and up to 30 years in captivity. However, infant mortality is high among giraffes. Approximately 50 percent of giraffe calves do not survive past six months.

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