A new study revealed that there are actually four species of giraffe, as published in Current Biology
. The study further said that genetic diversity is one main factor why different giraffes should be considered. Another is the fact that species don’t interbreed.
Though the four species of giraffe may look similar, they do have several differences in appearance. The four species of giraffe are the northern giraffe, the southern giraffe, the reticulated giraffe, and the Masai giraffe.
Co-author, Dr. Axel Janke, said that the reason why the giraffes’ differences remain unnoticed is due to the fact that they just don’t get much attention, compared to other wild animals such as elephants or lions.
The giraffe’s population has now gone down from 150,000 to 90,000 in just three decades.
“These 90,000, split up over four species, makes it immediately clear that the giraffes are threatened. You see immediately there is urgent need for protection," Janke told The New York Times