September 23, 2016
Scientists have analyzed nuclear gene data from all formerly recognized giraffe subspecies and have determined that all giraffe subspecies are composed of genetically divergent lineages. All former giraffe subspecies cluster genetically into four highly distinct groups. Giraffe population numbers across Africa continue to decline as a result of habitat loss and this re-classification will certainly have conservation implications.
So the new species are:
1) Southern giraffe ( Giraffa giraffa)…..What we see. “Of Least Concern”
2) Masai giraffe ( Giraffa tippelskirchi). Not evaluated.
3) Northern giraffe ( Giraffa camelopardalis). “Of Least Concern”
4) Reticulated giraffe (Giraffa reticulata). “Vulnerable”
The dawn of the 21st century has seen wild African giraffe populations decline from 140,000 to 90,000 that remain in 2016. Almost half of that total are the southern giraffe, which population is holding steady thanks in large part to the conservation efforts in South Africa and some of its neighboring countries.
For further reading on the re-classification please see the following;
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