Scientific name

Giraffa camelopardalis


Males: 1,930 kilograms (4,254 pounds) Females: 1,180 kilograms (2,601 pounds)


5.7 meters tall from the ground to their horns (18.7 feet)

Life span

Average 10 to 15 years in the wild; recorded a maximum of 30 years


Dense forest to open plains




Between 13 and 15 months


Humans, lions, leopards, hyenas, crocodiles

Estimated population of
mature individuals
Can gallop at
Native to more than
African countries


Humans hunt giraffes for their hides, meat, and body parts.

Giraffe tails are highly prized by many African cultures and are used in good-luck bracelets, fly whisks, and even thread for sewing or stringing beads. The world's tallest land animal has lost 40 percent of its population in just 30 years, and recent reports show poaching and wildlife trafficking are contributing to this decline. Giraffes are easily killed and poaching (now more often for their meat and hide) continues today. 

Giraffes are quickly losing their living spaces.

The number of giraffes in the wild is shrinking as their habitats shrink. In the late 19th and 20th centuries herds of 20 to 30 animals were recorded, now on average herd sizes contain fewer than six individuals. The IUCN lists four main threats to this species: habitat loss, civil unrest, illegal hunting, and ecological changes (climate change and habitat conversion). As human populations grow and increase agricultural activities, expand settlements, and construct roads, the giraffe is losing its beloved acacia trees, which are its main source of food.


Our solutions to saving the world's tallest land animal from extinction:

Educate local communities in conservation.

We educate communities living near giraffes on the importance of sustainable practices for agricultural and settlement growth by providing training on sustainable — and more productive — agricultural practices and incentivizing conservation agriculture when appropriate.

Action Plan
Reforest key areas.

AWF has reforested acacia trees in West Africa to provide more food for the giraffe and allow it to expand its habitat.



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