Twenty-first Century Books
Published October 1, 2019
About Giraffe Extinction
Quietly, without most people noticing, the population of giraffes in the wild has decreased by nearly 40 percent since 1985. Giraffes have disappeared entirely from seven countries where they used to live. Researchers believe fewer than 98,000 exist in the wild–fewer even than endangered African elephants. In 2016, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature added giraffes to the organization’s Red List of Threatened Species. What is causing their disappearance? Overpopulation of humans in giraffe habitats and illegal poaching.
Learn about giraffes’ physical characteristics, habitats, and life cycles; examine the dangers they face from humans and climate change; and meet the scientists working to save these gentle giants using technology and conservation efforts.
My youngest daughter’s favorite animal right now is a giraffe, so I thought this book would be interesting to read just as information for myself. She’s too young to really understand the information, but I think that also the possibility that giraffes could face extinction in the near future made me want to learn more. It’s hard to imagine a world in which giraffes don’t exist since they’re such an iconic animal.
The book is a little tough at the beginning. There’s some explanation of the history of studying giraffes and while I think it’s great information, it’s not as friendly and easy to read as other books by this publisher. Once I got past the first chapter or so, though, I think it was easier to understand.
One of the things I found most fascinating is the way giraffes have been classified and how that impacts any available protection. I hadn’t ever considered whether there are multiple species of giraffes or only one with subspecies. I enjoyed learning about that process and what its effects might be for the future.
Also, did you know giraffes make a sound?! Okay, they don’t make a sound like you’re thinking, like a cat meowing or something. But for a long time, scientists thought giraffes would be mute because of their long necks. Actually, they make a humming sound while they sleep. Pretty cool!
Over all, I enjoyed the balance of interesting facts, history and context for why giraffes are threatened and how essential they are to the environment where they live. I recommend this book for young conservationists and animal enthusiasts alike.
Recommended for Ages 12 up.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
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