The blue-tongued forest giraffe is the latest species to fall under risk of extinction. The animal, also known as the okapi, is the national symbol of the Democratic Republic of Congo and it appears on the nation’s money. The okapi is just one of many African animals that appear on the red list of threatened species.
The 2013 red list shows a few small successes from conservation efforts, but each species added to the list makes the situation seem more dire. The forest giraffe is just one of 71,500 species on the list, which includes mammals, birds and amphibians. Around one-third of the species that have been thoroughly studied and found to be under threat of endangerment or extinction.
The forest giraffe popped up on the red list partially due to militia activity in the forests of the Congo. The forests are quickly disappearing, leaving the animals homeless. The mass poverty and need for food in the DRC has also rendered the forest giraffe a food source, further driving down their numbers. Other factors weighing against the animal are area poachers, illegal mining, and rebel activity.
The red list has seen a few minor successes – including the recovery of the albatross, island fox and leatherback turtles.
Via The Guardian