Do you ever hear about the incredibly brave work wildlife rangers do on the front lines to protect the beautiful wildlife we all love to much?
The job of a wildlife ranger is becoming increasingly dangerous – the African Wildlife Foundation says that they must be prepared to act in a number of roles:
A law enforcement officer
A community liaison
Even whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on, they have been working to protect the species, landscapes and communities in Africa.
Image copyright African Wildlife Foundation
They undertake rigorous training and face difficult conditions as they work – and they are vital in investigating wildlife crimes. Both poachers and the very wildlife rangers are trying to protect can be dangerous and deadly.
The hours are long and rangers may not see their families for a long time. Communications can be very limited which means access to urgent help can be difficult or even impossible to come by.
So the African Wildlife Foundation is giving us all a wonderful opportunity to thank these rangers – we can send them a note in time for World Ranger Day on 31 July!
And it’s good to know that there is something you can do to help wildlife and locals in their communities at the same time, and we thought we’d do a roundup of charities and organisations working to help in this way. Sometimes wildlife rangers are called wildlife guardians.
Based in Australia, the Foundation works with ranger groups, ranger associations and conservation partners in over 60 countries. They say it’s estimated that over 1,000 park rangers have been killed n the line of duty over the past 10 years. They are dedicated to providing Rangers worldwide with the assistance they deserve and need.
Project Ranger supports a range of patrols such as horse patrols, foot patrols, motorbike, aerial, truck and K9 patrols. In doing so it protects a number of species in national parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, conserved land and wildnerness areas. There are plenty of ways to support their work so visit their website to find out more!
The World Land Trust has a Keepers of the Wild initiative. The rangers are working on the front line of conservation, safeguarding some of the world’s most threatened animals and the crucial habitats in which they live. They protect reserves from poaching and logging, and importantly, link to local communities, building trust, helping to change attitudes and find practical solutions to problems. You can support Keepers of the Wild by making a donation.
This organisation works to save wildlife from extinction through education, anti-poaching and conservation efforts. It does this by using anti-poaching units, awareness and education and on the ground action, working on wildlife’s problems. You can adopt a ranger (also there’s a K9 poacher tracking unit) – find out what the options are to adopt a ranger here.
The Gorilla Organisation has a supporting rangers scheme in the Democratic Republic of Congo and they act as the eyes, ears and voice of the forest. They cut snaes, save injured gorillas, combat the militias running the blood minerals trade, monitor the gorillas’ health and collect vital conservation data every day. Find out more here.
Amongst the stars involved in the event, is an inspirational 9 year old raising money for pangolin, to a soprano and there’s also a visit to the Elephant Orphanage.
There’s nothing like going to bed knowing you have done something really good today and made a difference.
The event was held to celebrate wildlife and to raise funds to support conservation across Africa and Asia.
The bit about with the elephant orphanage starts at 28 minutes if you're short of time.
It's not enough to care - we need to ACT
Climate change and the biodiversity crises has been forgotten in the times of the coronavirus and charities are suffering particularly badly. The more we can all do to help, the better off our wildlife will be.
The key things for us all to do are to spread the word that there are good things happening and that we can all make a difference to wildlife.
We can turn this around if we all pull together and help nature.
There are some amazing people doing great things for nature and conservation.
On the island of Siquijor in the central Philippines, Women have got together to protect marine sanctuaries from poachers and illegal fishers, even though they only have paddles and kayaks. They are prepared to risk their lives to protect there are.
The waters are full of rich coral reefs and fish diversity – but they are being impacted by both illegal fishing which has impacted on the coral reefs and reduced fish diversity and its abundance, and climate change.
This video tells the story of the women. One woman has been shot at – but she is determined and her efforts resulted in the arrest of the person shooting at her.
Namibia Lion Trust is working to protect the large carnivores of Namibia. It believes in conservation through education, aiming to create a peaceful existence between wildlife (especially the large carnivores) and local communities
The Namibia Lion Trust has been through a bit of a journey itself. It was launched in 2020, having been AfriCatNorth. AfriCat North was primarily the AfriCat Foundation field base for lion research, human-wildlife conflict mitigation and community support. The Trust’s slogan is For Lions, For Life and For Our Future, and it’s dedicated to lions. It’s Reg #T298/2019.
Livestock Protection – creating “bomas”, i.e. enclosures to keep large predators out and livestock safe inside
Early Warning and Rapid Response – Lion Guards elected by their own community to help mitigate the lion-human conflict. They identify hot spots, support with the erectionof bomas, install LionLights, patrol to protect wildlife and encourage greater tolerance of conflict with wildlife. They also share information about the whereabouts of wildlife with the research team conservancy committees and their communities.
Fence Boundary Programme in a human-wildlife conflict hot-spot area. It’s cattle proof but has fallen into disrepair – it was put up in the 1960s and needs to be reconstructed.