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!
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.
While the human race is battling against the coronavirus with 213 countries affected, wildlife are far from immune from it either.
Elephants, rhinos, pangolins and gorillas all needed wildlife rangers to protect them. Wildlife conservation groups are faced with the challenge of continuing to protect wildlife and fight poaching whilst budgets are cut and the income wildlife tourism brings to help is virtually non-existent as there are no tourists.
Enter Avaaz, a 60 million person global campaign network, with petitions to change the world and appeals to make a difference to those who need it.
An army of 40,000 rangers once protected elephants, rhinos, pangolins and gorillas – and these are in danger of losing their jobs, leaving wildlife at the mercy of poachers and criminal gangs and syndicates.
A team of undercover investigators are working round the clock to rack and prosecute poaching rings in 9 African countries and they are jailing thousands.
Their funding is on the rocks. Wildlife need us to give them our support, however much that is.
This is a chance to help vulnerable wildlife. We can help lock up more criminals, expose international trafficking networks and accelerate global campaigns to protect nature and save vulnerable species.
Please donate what you can now. If we all donated the cost of a coffee, that would make a big difference.
Avaaz has funded these defenders before from the group EAGLE. Recently they infiltrated a big illegal trafficking ring. They uncovered nearly 2 tons of pangolin scales, exposing the kingpins and crippling an international network of criminals. Crucially, they ensure those who are jailed don’t bribe their way out.
The Foundation’s needs are absolutely focused on supporting the Rangers’ needs, the emphasis being on supporting rangers in low-income countries and areas where there are conflict:
Train the trainer
Equip anti-poaching ranger patrol teams
Financial lifelines to families of rangers who have died
Critical funding to frontline projects e.g. Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Israel, Uganda, Sumatra, Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, Solomon Islands
Rangers fulfil all sorts of duties including removing snares set to trap wildlife, monitoring wildlife, doing drone surveys, engaging the community and promoting alternative forms of livelihood. They have training in fighting fires too.
As the dangers facing them increase and criminal gangs and syndicates become more aggressive and better armed, rangers really are putting themselves in danger so it’s vital to ensure that they go out on patrol with the right equipment and training and back-up – and the knowledge that they are supported.
World Ranger Day (31 July every year) is all about taking a moment to reflect on the courage of wildlife rangers and the sacrifice they make or are prepared to make to protect wildlife on the front line.
Post on social media using #WorldRangerDay #StandWithRangers #NaturesProtectors
Show support by adding the “I stand with Rangers” frame to your Facebook and Twitter profile pictures – these are available from the Thin Green Line’s website.
Take a moment to honour fallen rangers. You can see the list of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our cherished wildlife. There is a 2020 Honour Roll and 2009-2020 In Memoriam. Please let’s think of the families they leave behind, too.
I would like to add two more:
Spread the word about the Thin Green Line Foundation and the amazing work that rangers do around the world.
Donate if you can. Times are difficult for many but even if we can spare the cost of a take-out coffee or a glass of wine, that will help.
If you’ve wondered what it’s like being involved in wildlife ranger work, take a look at this video from the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Lewa serves as a safe refuge for wildlife such as the black rhino, Grevy's Zebra, elephant, lion, giraffe, wild dog and other iconic wildlife species in Kenya. It is also home to over 400 species of birds.
John Pameri is in charge of rhino monitoring, the management of Lewa’s entry points and radio communication.
He walked 100 kilometres to Lewa when he was 18 because his dream was to have a job protecting wildlife.
Twenty five years later, John Pameri is Head of General Security with the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Find out more about John by taking a look at this video below.
A big thank you to John, his rangers and everyone at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy for all you do to protect wildlife and to bring peace and stability to the regions you work in.
Lewa sees a future where everyoneo in Kenya values, protects and benefits form wildlife, so that communities can derive their day to day livelihoods in ways that are compatable with wildlife habitat. Lewa invests in programmes such as education, water, health care, micro-enterprise and youth empowerment.