My endangered wildlife paintings are included in a special category to provide updated information about the protective support that is currently underway by major wildlife conservation partners.
The tallest living animal in the world … three-horned … critically endangered … up to 19 feet tall and weighing up to 2 tons.
The information about giraffes is from the official websites of WCN wildnet.org (Wildlife Conservation Network) and other wildlife conservationists. (Please see Artist’s Disclaimer at bottom.)
Protecting All Giraffe Species
Made up of experts from around the world, the IUCN SSC Giraffe and Okapi Specialist Group leads efforts to study giraffe, okapi and the threats they face, as well as leading and supporting conservation actions designed to ensure the survival of the two species into the future. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) are institutional co-hosts of the GOSG for giraffe and okapi respectively.
Critically Endangered – Giraffa Camelopardalis (Kordofan and Nubian giraffes)
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the gold standard for assessing endangerment, has found that giraffes face a “high risk” of extinction in the wild. And for some of the subspecies, this risk is imminent. Kordofan giraffe has lost 90 percent of its population since the late 1980s and is down to just 2,000 individuals in the wild. Similarly, the Nubian giraffe population is down 98 percent and lives only on protected lands in Kenya. According to the IUCN, both subspecies are “critically endangered,” which means they face an “extremely high risk” of extinction in the wild.
The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCN) is involved in giraffe conservation initiatives in 15 African countries. Their support ranges from program implementation to providing technical support to partners, from conservation monitoring to hands-on conservation actions, from direct to indirect support. GCF’s recent research has shown that there is not only one, but four species of giraffe. GCF is the only organization in the world that works towards conserving all four of these species in the wild.
Endangered – Okapi (forest giraffe)
The okapi (or forest giraffe) is an endangered giraffe relative found only in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The quiet, beautiful and enigmatic okapi has only been known to Western scientists since 1901 due to its secretive and reclusive nature. However, the local people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the only country where the okapi is found, have known about the animal for thousands of years. Though this endangered giraffe relative is a culturally respected animal and has been protected in the country since 1933, slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal gold mining and bushmeat poaching threaten its existence.
For over 30 years, the Okapi Conservation Project (OCP) [a wildlife partner of Wildnet.org (WCN)] has never faltered in its ability to withstand civil wars, rebel attacks and insecurity in an area ripe with political strife and uncertainty. It’s this standing loyalty that OCP has developed a strong trust within the community, allowing their conservation programs to thrive and expand under arduous conditions. Throughout DRC’s turmoil, OCP has remained the primary supporter of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve and protector of okapi.
World Giraffe Day – June 21
World Giraffe Day (WGD) is an exciting annual event initiated by GCF to celebrate the tallest animal on the longest day or night (depending on which hemisphere you live!) of the year – 21 June – every year! Zoos, schools, NGOs, governments, institutions, companies and conservation organizations around the world are hosting events on or around WGD to raise awareness and support for giraffe in the wild. World Giraffe Day 2020 is dedicated to Operation Twiga V, the next giraffe conservation translocation to Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve in Uganda. GCF hopes to reach their WGD 2020 fundraising goal of US$250,000 to secure a future for the endangered Giraffa Camelopardalis Nubian giraffe.
Title: Giraffa Camelopardalis – Tallest of All
Reference photo for this artwork is licensed royalty-free from Shutterstock.