Given Chinko’s geo-political situation, providing security to the park, its wildlife, and surrounding communities is of utmost importance to the long-term viability and survival of this entire area. In 2019, Chinko’s Rangers conducted 1,374 patrol man days covering 15,000 km; over 8,000 km were covered via vehicle patrols, and 644 aerial patrols were completed amounting to 2,211 flight hours.
Wildlife and human populations living in villages surrounding Chinko are under constant threat due to political instability and ongoing fighting between armed groups and violent militias. Poaching pressures, largely from armed Sudanese cattle herders, has caused wildlife numbers to plummet drastically over the last few decades, to the brink of local extinction.
To standardise and ensure the highest level of technical competence and professionalism, law enforcement training is regularly carried out for the entire Ranger unit. These rangers patrol Chinko throughout the year by foot and vehicle, while air surveillance is also in place to monitor the larger area.
As a result, Chinko’s comprehensive community programme, extensive cooperation with Central African officials and a committed ranger team of over 60 individuals have managed to fully secure a vast 6,000 km2 core protection zone. This has been achieved by pushing out armed poachers and cattle herders and mitigating key threats, with the result of a safe harbour for Chinko’s wildlife and increased stability for communities in the region.
To intercept the increased number of transhumance herders coming from Sudan, our Transhumance team increased in 2019 from 24 to 45, and the buffer zone around Chinko was also extended. Team members, made up of largely local Mbororo cattle herders who were equipped with GPS and satellite phones, covered an impressive 17,500 km on patrols.
To further improve tracking and surveillance inside the 6,000 km2 core area, Eco-monitor teams were also increased in 2019 from 27 to 45. While their key focus is to set up and monitor camera traps to document wildlife within the core area, the eco-monitor teams work to ensure the parks’ boundaries are adhered to by herders and track human activity within the park. They are often the first responders and are able to call for prompt intervention by the Ranger teams when needed.
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