In a recent paper in Current Biology, Fennessy and colleagues  conclude that there are four species of giraffe and that their numbers are declining in Africa. Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are presently classified as one species, with nine subspecies, which are considered ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List . The present consensus of one species divided into nine subspecies has previously been questioned (Supplemental information), and Fennessy and colleagues  provide another viewpoint on giraffe taxonomy. The fundamental reason for different taxonomic interpretations is that they are based upon different datasets that adopt different statistical techniques and follow different criteria for nomenclature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)