The perilous 1,000-mile journey to save Africa’s endangered black rhinos
28 October 2022
On 3 October 2020 over 70 ranger teams across the African continent will run for their future in a half marathon, carrying their typical 25kg backpack and equipment – building comradery and raising awareness of the hardship currently faced by those in their profession.
The continental-wide collapse of wildlife tourism, caused by the COVID-19 crisis, has impacted severely on essential funding for wildlife protection. This threatens to undo years of conservation gains, compromising decades of development and conservation work across Africa. The Wildlife Ranger Challenge and 21 km marathon aim to serve as a platform to give a glimpse into the lives of rangers and raise funds for units whose livelihoods and professions are threatened because of the pandemic.
Peace Parks Foundation has entered two ranger teams into the Wildlife Ranger Challenge, coordinated by Tusk and in collaboration with leading ranger associations: the rangers from Sioma Ngwezi National Park in Zambia, and a team representing Nyika National Park in Malawi.
Team Sioma and Team Nyika have been training hard for this challenge and have stepped up as the faces and voices of their parks!
But they need you – only by providing your support will we be able to keep boots on the ground and continue to protect our precious natural resources and wildlife. And better yet – the Scheinberg Relief Fund has committed $5 million to match any donation received, with the goal of raising a total of $10 million to aid at least 5 000 rangers.
Meet Team Nyika and Team Sioma
Despite the severe challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the men and women of Nyika and Sioma have remained steadfast in their commitment to protecting life within the parks.
Meet Hassan Shaeb, Precious Mose, Edward Pinto, and Timothy Chirwa – dedicated rangers from Nyika National Park, who are preparing to go head-to-head with other ranger teams participating in the marathon. Through the stalwart efforts of Nyika’s rangers, there has been a significant decline in poaching, and an increase in the populations of key species on the Nyika plateau. Hundreds of snares and gin traps are removed every month from the park and the rangers often arrest bushmeat poachers. They also guard against the rampant illegal harvesting of orchids, used to make a plant-based salami which is high in nutrients.
Mukwakwa Mukwakwa, Beauty Ngebe Likonge, Matengu Mwilima and Clever Chainda are rangers in Sioma Ngwezi National Park, Zambia. The rangers of Sioma Ngwezi help to disrupt extensive bushmeat poaching, as well as work to counter the over exploitation of natural resources, such as Devil’s Claw, which is harvested illegally for its medicinal value. The rangers are part of a new strategy to ensure that more sections of the park are patrolled more regularly and effectively, thus ensuring an increase in arrests to address a wide variety of incursions.
How can you help?
Show your support by sponsoring a team and the respective protected area on the JustGiving pages.
Even your smallest gift could make the world of difference to them:
You can ‘run with rangers’
Supporters from around the world will join this incredible event to ‘Run with Rangers’ by taking part in a virtual 5, 10 or 21km run and donating or raising sponsorship. You can register for the event at WildlifeRangerChallenge.org and join in online with #ForWildifeRangers.
Let’s help these custodians of nature build their brighter future!