NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas, June 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- After the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reclassified giraffes as vulnerable to extinction in December 2016, giraffe advocates Fred Bercovitch Ph.D, Ashley Scott Davison, and Tiffany Soechting, took action by creating Save The Giraffes, the first U.S. based nonprofit whose mission is to guarantee that giraffes are protected and preserved in their natural habitat.
Giraffes are an endangered species. The IUCN Red List notes that certain giraffe subspecies are more threatened than others, with total numbers declining by 40% in recent times.
"Giraffes are dying because their landscape is disappearing," said Fred Bercovitch, Executive Director of Save the Giraffes. Bercovitch was one of the giraffe biologists responsible for the species reclassification. He noted that it's a short timeframe for such a rapid decline to occur, "They are losing their habitat due to encroachment by people for agriculture, mining operations, civil unrest, illegal hunting, and ecological changes, such as global warming that requires giraffes to wander into new areas."
Anchored by their website, Save the Giraffes' immediate goal is to raise funds to support essential research and conservation efforts needed throughout Africa and abroad. To coincide with the launch of the new non-profit, Save the Giraffes has identified several science and education projects in South Africa and Tanzania, as well as in the USA, which have been targeted for initial support.
The broadcast debut of 'Walking with Giraffes' on Nat Geo WILD, one of National Geographic Partners' cable networks, showcased giraffe researchers and scientists throughout the world. The documentary was directed and produced by Save the Giraffes Vice-President, Ashley Scott Davison, "Until the release of our film the extinction facing giraffes was almost unheard of. Sharing our documentary with the world was a great first step but we knew wanted to do more; that's why we formed Save The Giraffes, so we could continue to raise awareness."
"People across the planet love giraffes. They want to support the species longevity—and Save the Giraffes gives everyone the ability to contribute and support," said Tiffany Soechting, Co-Founder of Save the Giraffes and Animal Specialist at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, where rare twin giraffes were born in 2013.
"It's about raising awareness," said Soechting. "Our rare twin giraffes sparked a fire within animal lovers and biologists worldwide—and we feel it's our responsibility to use our resources to educate and inform so that the next generation, our children and grandchildren, will be able to experience giraffes in the wild."
"A tragedy is unfolding before our eyes," said Bercovitch, "and it's time we all take action."
SAVE THE GIRAFFES subscribes to John Muir's idea that "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it is hitched to everything else in the Universe." Its mission is to guarantee that giraffes are protected and preserved in their natural habitat, and to support conservation research and education programs that strive to ensure the survival of giraffes and their ecosystems for future generations.
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SOURCE Save the Giraffes