“It all began with a simple conversation about Giraffes.  When I mentioned that Giraffes were on the Endangered Species list, I was told, “What? Giraffes aren’t endangered.” 

I started to second guess myself and decided to investigate the topic further.  Who was right? I will get to that later.


I began by researching what constitutes a species to be considered endangered. 

First, we need to know what a species is.  A species is any life form found on this planet including animals, plants, trees, insects, coral, etc.

According to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), passed in 1973, an endangered species is “any species which is in range of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range”.

While we may see the word “endangered” on a day-to-day basis, whether it be in commercials, media, magazines, etc., I turned the source which would give me the best answer.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), considered to be the world’s leading authority on global species who face the risk of extinction, website to get a definitive answer.  

Established in 1949, The IUCN has been able to record and track 28% of the world’s known species.  

Their website features the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species which divides the conservation status of all species into nine categories:

CRCRITICALLY ENDANGERED: (A species considered to be facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.)
ENENDANGERED: (A species considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.)
VUVULNERABLE: A species considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.)
NTNear Threatened
LCLeast Concern
DDData Deficient
NENot Evaluated

What is important to note is that any species listed as Vulnerable, Endangered, and Critically Endangered all fall under the category “Endangered” but to different degrees as described above.

According to their website: Currently, there are more than 150,300 species on The IUCN Red List, with more than 42,100 species threatened with extinction.  They include:

  • Amphibians – 41%
  • Mammals – 27 %
  • Conifers – 34%
  • Birds – 13 %
  • Sharks and Rays – 37 %
  • Reef Corals – 36 %
  • Selected Crustaceans – 28 %
  • Reptiles – 21 %
  • Cycads – 69 %


We tend to categorize animals into one group, but did you know that there are 4 types of giraffes and 5 subspecies?

According to The IUCN Red List the answer is YES.   Sadly, Giraffes’ numbers have plummeted by 40% in the last three decades.


The following is the status of all four distinct types of giraffes and their five subspecies according to the IUCN Red List.

To summarize, while giraffes as a whole are considered vulnerable, as explained earlier, technically they are considered endangered.

You don’t know what you don’t know.  Knowledge is the key to understanding how fragile Earth’s species truly are. 

I believe that if heroes don’t step in, we may lose these gentle giants as well as the other 40,000 plus species that are fighting for survival.

I hope this short summary provides a better understanding of what it means to be an Endangered Species.

Learning begins at home. Visit The IUCN Site to see where your favorite animal ranks. You just may be surprised.

Many people aren’t even aware that giraffes are endangered. You can help just by simply starting a conversation with friends and family about your favorite endangered animal.

By working together today we can help save Earth’s endangered animals from becoming a Figment of our Imagination TOMORROW!

Our Mascot Figment needs your help saving his endangered friends. If you love Giraffes as much as we do Become an Endangered Species Hero by sharing this post.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *