There are an estimated 35,000 Masai giraffes remaining, but their population has fallen by nearly 50 percent in the last three decades.
Africa’s overall giraffe population has decreased by up to 40 percent in that same timeframe.
Masai giraffes are iconic, says Tanya Sanerib, international legal director for the Center for Biological Diversity.
Given that they’re one of the largest subspecies of giraffes, they’re the “quintessential” animal you likely think of when you think giraffes.
For this subspecies to be declared endangered is a wake-up call, Sanerib says.
“This was devastating news...It really sounds the alarm bell,” she says.
“It really indicates that we need to be doing more for giraffes internationally and with whatever tools are available.”