How do we save rhinos? Who saves them? What can we do to improve these efforts?
One phrase answers all these questions – rangers save rhinos!
In what may seem like a dream working day for you or me – walking across a stunning African savannah or through a vibrant Indonesian rainforest, all to lay your eyes on a remarkable animal – is in fact an extremely daunting day and night. Women and men across Africa and Asia perform the tough task of being rhino rangers. Many of these brave people – also mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters – began their work because of their love and passion for the wildlife within their communities. Yet today rangers face the dangerous and difficult challenge of stopping organised criminal syndicates from killing the animals we all care about.
Every day, rangers patrol vast wildlife areas. During each shift, boundaries have to be checked for damages and fixed before issues arise, rhinos are monitored through up-to-date logs of their health, behaviour and location, and snares or other signs of illegal activity must be spotted, recorded and removed. This active management and protection of wildlife in reserves and parks by rangers is necessary on a daily basis if rhinos, as well as many other animals, are to be kept safe.
Rangers are the experts at the front line of rhino conservation. In any patrol, they will identify individual rhinos, differentiating each one through their unique characteristics, while remaining on guard and ready to respond if poachers attack. As you might imagine, such poaching incidents are extremely traumatic; not only are rangers faced with the deaths of animals they care for, but also the very real danger of confronting armed gangs whose only aim is to kill a rhino, no matter what.
World Ranger Day is a day for us to celebrate the remarkable courage of every ranger and remember all those that have lost their lives in the line of duty. Rangers are our everyday heroes.
Thanks to your donations over the past year, we have continued to support rangers with essential resources to help rangers save rhinos and enable them to be more effective, including:
- buying better equipment such as rucksacks, sleeping bags, boots and binoculars
- ensuring up-to-date systems with new GPS units and radios
- organising training for ranger units to share skills, improve knowledge and enhance procedures
- providing life insurance to help with peace of mind for rangers and their families if an injury, or worse, happens
As the poaching crisis continues, rangers across Africa and Asia need your help. With your donations, we can make sure that rangers have essential everyday equipment, build their knowledge, and provide basic comforts to make life that little bit easier.