Giraffes win CITES protection

August 23, 2019 by  
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Giraffes are doing a victory dance today after winning international trade protection on Thursday. Delegates at the World Wildlife Conference in Geneva voted to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species ( CITES ). Countries will now be required to issue non-detriment findings before exporting or importing giraffe parts. This means that in order to get permits, a scientific authority of the state must decree that the trade will not be detrimental to the survival of the species. The number of giraffes has declined by 40 percent over the last three decades, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council , which calls the situation a “silent extinction.” Habitat loss, poaching for meat, trophy hunting, disease and trade in their parts has left giraffes more endangered than elephants. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified seven of the nine giraffe subspecies as threatened with extinction. Related: Don’t forget to fight for these “less glamorous” endangered species Giraffes range through 21 sub-Saharan African countries. Six of the range states — Central African Republic, Chad, Kenya, Mali, Niger and Senegal — submitted the proposal to curtail indiscriminate trading of giraffe parts. The U.S., E.U., New Zealand, much of South and Central America and 32 African nations supported the proposal; however, some countries in southern African wanted to be exempt. CITES discourages this kind of split listing, as it makes things difficult for law enforcement to distinguish between legal and illegal trade. Fortunately, this idea was overruled. Because giraffes haven’t been listed under CITES in the past, there is not much international data on the trade in giraffe parts. But U.S. data points to a heinous level of trade, with nearly 40,000 giraffe parts arriving in the U.S. between 2006 and 2015. This equals at least 3,751 whole giraffes. Skins, bone carvings and raw bones were the parts most commonly intercepted. Taxidermied trophies and knives made with giraffe bone handles were other frequent imports. The long-necked ruminants and all their supporters are hoping that the U.S. will soon list giraffes under the Endangered Species Act . After conservation groups spent more than two years petitioning for protection, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is finally conducting an in-depth review of the status of giraffes. Hopefully, it will act sooner rather than later. + CITES Via Reuters and NRDC Image via Loretta Smith

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Giraffes win CITES protection

Rare white giraffes spotted by Kenyan conservation group

September 12, 2017 by  
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Remarkable white giraffes have been sighted in northeastern Kenya . These creamy giraffes barely even look real, but the Hirola Conservation Program (HCP) captured two, a mother and baby, in a video. The animals have a genetic condition called leucism, which is not the same as albinism. The white giraffes were spotted in an area where HCP, a Kenya-based non-governmental organization and partner Rainforest Trust , are protecting habitat for the hirola antelope. Rangers reported the white giraffes after hearing about them from villagers who live nearby, according to HCP, which rushed to the scene to see for themselves. Related: Video footage of rare all-white moose in Sweden They caught sight of the mother and juvenile, noting the adult female pacing back and forth a few yards away from them while signaling the baby to hide in the bushes. HCP noted this behavior is characteristic of many wildlife mothers working to protect their children. Rainforest Trust said leucism turns animals’ appearance white . According to TreeHugger, skin cells in animals with leucism don’t produce pigmentation, but soft tissues do, like in the eyes of these giraffes, which are dark. White giraffes aren’t common in the area, and HCP said most elders say they’ve never seen the creatures. HCP quoted a ranger, Bashir, who said, “This is new to us. I remember when I was a kid, we never saw them. It must be very recent and we are not sure what is causing it.” White giraffes have been previously sighted in Kenya and in Tanzania . HCP said the first report of a white giraffe in the wild occurred just last year, in January 2016, in a Tanzania national park . Via Hirola Conservation Program and TreeHugger Images via screenshot

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Rare white giraffes spotted by Kenyan conservation group

Is giraffe milk the latest superfood?

January 30, 2017 by  
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Call us crazy, but it seems like you can’t sling an acai quinoa bowl these days without slamming into some healthful new “superfood” we should all be eating. Never mind that actual scientific corroboration tends to be scant, or that a balanced diet, chock full of fruits and vegetables, will outperform even the most faddish of nutritional panaceas on the best of days. The ability to reduce the complexities of calorie counting, ingredient-label translating, and consistent clean living to a trite “eat this, not that” has undeniable appeal. Bonus points if it adds a dash of exoticism or mystery to our otherwise quotidian existence. The latest bandwagon-in-making, according to Metro ? Giraffe milk. By way of evidence, the British rag pointed to a 1962 study that claimed that giraffe milk has almost four times the fat content of full-fat cow’s milk and 12 times that of skim. Giraffe milk contains comparable amounts of riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamin B6 as cow’s milk, the study continued, but higher levels of vitamins A and B12. It’s the excess fat that we desire, Metro insists. A Tufts University study that followed some 3,000 people over two decades found that people who had the most dairy fat in their diets had a 46 percent lower risk of diabetes that those who ate the least. Related: Giraffes are on the verge of going extinct While it was “too early to call whole-fat dairy the healthiest choice,” Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the study’s author, also called for a national policy that was more neutral on dairy fat until additional data presented itself. But even Metro admitted that the idea of giraffe milk on supermarket shelves would be unlikely. “When it comes to a giraffe, it would be almost impossible to get one to stand still long enough to be milked—let alone enough to set up a profitable business,” it wrote. “The giraffes that have been milked have been milked under controlled conditions by scientists.” There’s also the fact that giraffes are on the brink of extinction . The IUCN Red List reported a 38 percent decline in the giraffe population since 1985, plus a “high risk of extinction” in the wild if the trend continues. The culprit, of course, is humans. Illegal hunting, habitat loss through agriculture and mining, and growing human-wildlife conflict could soon spell the irretrievable loss of the world’s tallest land mammal. The last thing giraffes need is someone chasing after them with a bucket and a stool. Photos by Pixabay and Andrew Magill

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Is giraffe milk the latest superfood?

Eco-Luxe Treehouses at Ngong House Provide an Epic “Out of Africa” Experience

April 18, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Eco-Luxe Treehouses at Ngong House Provide an Epic “Out of Africa” Experience Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “natural materials” , bespoke tree house , boutique hotel , eco-luxe , giraffes , kenya , Luxury Tree House , Meryl Streep , nairobi , Nairobi National Park , Ngong House , Out of Africa , Rothschild giraffe , safari destination , Treehouses , upcycling        

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Eco-Luxe Treehouses at Ngong House Provide an Epic “Out of Africa” Experience

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