The Summer Solstice also marks a special day to me – World Giraffe Day! This day was created by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) to raise awareness about and celebrate this vulnerable and endangered species.
Did you know that Giraffes are considered a Keystone Species? This means that giraffes are an animal that impact the ecosystem so much, that if they were removed, that ecosystem would be dramatically changed in a negative way. As the giraffe population dwindles, this impacts the other species that share the same habitat. Giraffes, with their long necks, are able to reach high into the trees. This breaks spaces open in the canopy of trees, allowing for more plant growth lower down. This extra browse is important for smaller animals. They also are wonderful seed disperses for the Acacia Tree. Sometimes, seeds need to pass through the giraffe digestive system before they can properly germinate! These trees provide food resource and habitat for other animals such as Zebras, Impalas, Elephants, and insects.
As habitat fragmentation, human-wildlife conflicts, disease, and poaching continue, the giraffe population continues to decline. This can be really discouraging – especially for those of us who live far from the Central and South African regions that giraffe’s are native to. I currently live in Pennsylvania, United States and have (so far!) only been to Kenya twice…. What can I do to protect the animals that I love?!
Fortunately, there are some actions that we can take to help protect the amazing giraffe species regardless of our geographical location!
So today – World Giraffe Day – share your love of this amazing animals with everyone you know and help to conserve and protect this amazing keystone species!
Looking to share your love of giraffes with the world in a different way? Visit my store for giraffe prints, photo gifts, and more! A portion of all proceeds for giraffe purchases is donated back to giraffe conservation groups and their conservation efforts.