Wild giraffe numbers have plummeted by 40 percent in the last three decades, and the species is now “vulnerable” to extinction, a top conservation body warned Thursday. The population of the world’s tallest land mammal dropped to below 100,000 in 2015, mainly due to shrinking habitat and illegal hunting, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reported.

The group added 742 newly-discovered birds to the global species inventory, but said 11 percent were already facing annihilation and 13 previously unknown species have already disappeared in the wild. “These majestic land animals are undergoing a silent extinction,” Julian Fennessy, co-chairman of the IUCN’s specialist group on giraffes, said in a statement. READ MORE