Rangers are often referred to as being the front line of conservation. They are the foot soldiers, the boots on the ground, and the first – or perhaps last – line of defense protecting much of the world’s wildlife from the many insidious threats all around them.
At African Parks, we have over 1,000 rangers, the largest counter-poaching force for any one NGO on the continent. These individuals are risking their lives each and every day to safeguard the parks under our management, and the wildlife who live there.
But the efforts of our rangers go far beyond protected areas and wildlife. They are often the only security or stabilizing force in the entire region – delivering safety for both wildlife and people.
In Chinko in the Central African Republic, the rangers there have not only managed to continue to secure a park the size of the state of Massachusetts, preventing cattle, armed herders and poachers from entering illegally, they are currently providing safety for almost 300 Internally Displaced People fleeing from the deadly ethnic violence in the region. Our team has been providing life-saving assistance to those who lost everything in the ongoing violence, and have been helping to rebuild homes in surrounding local villages.
In Garamba in the Democratic Republic of Congo, considered ground zero in the elephant poaching wars, our rangers there are facing militarized poachers who stop at nothing to kill elephants for their ivory to continue to fund their illegal and devastating activities. Besides protecting Garamba’s remaining 1,300 elephants, the rangers are often the first responders for every day civilians who are terrorized by the Lord’s Resistance Army and other armed and dangerous groups, who rape, and pillage and poach wildlife, leaving only a path of destruction and scorched earth in their wake. Knowing these threats, the rangers gear up and head out each and every day to patrol and secure the park and surrounding areas, serving as a lifeline for wildlife and people in the region.
This is what it means to be a ranger. To protect wildlife, and humanity.
Please consider a donation which goes directly to the parks, and supports our rangers and efforts like these.
Thank you for supporting African Parks, we couldn’t do the work we do without you.
With sincere thanks,