Okapi have declined 50% in the last 24 years and are listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN due to habitat loss, deforestation, and poaching.

The okapi is confirmed to be “Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Okapi have been undergoing a decline since at least 1995 that is ongoing and projected to continue, in the face of severe, intensifying threats and lack of effective conservation action which is hindered by the lack of security. The rate of decline is estimated to have exceeded 50% over three generations, (24 years,) based on figures from surveys in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Réserve de Faune à Okapis; RFO) suggesting a 43% decline over the period 1995-2007, which some reports suggest continued in the period thereafter.

The RFO remains the best protected site and it is inferred that the rate of decline here is at least equalled in other parts of the okapi’s range. Although monitoring is only available to support estimates of declines in RFO since 1995, reports of declines or extirpations in other parts of the range and loss and degradation of habitat have been ongoing since 1980.

Recently, the okapi has been extirpated from Uganda and, since 1933, protected by law in Zaire.

Despite its patchy distribution, the okapi is common in much of its current range and is therefore not listed as a threatened species by international agreement. However, habitat loss due to deforestation as well as poaching continue to restrict the range of the species and take their toll on the population.

Sources: (Bodmer & Rabb, 1992; Mallon, et al., 2015; Palkovacs, 2000)
Image: cuatrok77


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