The perilous 1,000-mile journey to save Africa’s endangered black rhinos
28 Oct 2022
Around the globe, park rangers serve on the front line in the battle to protect the natural and cultural treasures found in protected areas. The war on poaching is not only decimating iconic species such as rhino, elephant and lion, but has sadly also resulted in well over 1 000 rangers losing their lives to ruthless poachers over the past decade.
On this World Ranger Day, which is annually celebrated on 31 July, Peace Parks Foundation pays homage to those killed or injured in the line of duty, and celebrates the bravery, tenacity and dedication of the rangers who continue to risk their lives every day in the combat against wildlife crime.
Recognising the vital role that rangers play in conservation management and protection, Peace Parks Foundation facilitates the deployment and support of ranger forces in a number of transfrontier conservation areas throughout southern Africa.
The main focus is to empower the rangers in a way that will improve their personal safety, while at the same time increasing their efficacy. Support to these forces therefore includes the provision of operational and tactical equipment, crucial infrastructure such as accommodation units and ranger stations, increased capacity, as well as enrolling them in the basic and advanced ranger training programmes of the Southern African Wildlife College.
In an effort to further support and augment the ranger corps, Peace Parks Foundation today launched a new fundraising campaign that aims to raise funding to enrol qualified wildlife trackers in the highly acclaimed wildlife protection ranger programme of the Southern African Wildlife College, at €2 100 (R29 000) per student.
Driven by their courage and dedication, these wildlife trackers and recent graduates from the SA College for Tourism Tracker Academy have stepped up, eager to receive the necessary training that would enable them to join counter-poaching efforts as fully fledged rangers. Their tracking expertise, especially when combined with standard field ranger competencies, could add a much-needed competitive edge to tracking, apprehension and wildlife rescue missions.
The wildlife trackers are willing to dedicate their careers to making sure that our children and grandchildren, and hopefully many generations thereafter, will be able to see a rhino in the wild. Your support will help Peace Parks Foundation to equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to be employed in highly specialised counter-poaching units throughout southern Africa.
Please click here to read more about the project and on how you could assist on the PIFWorld Internet crowdsourcing platform.
Should you wish to support the ranger training by way of Peace Parks Foundation’s bank accounts, please click here or kindly contact Lise-Marie Greeff-Villet