Today is World Ranger Day and around the globe people are raising awareness and paying tribute to those on the front line in the battle to protect our natural heritage.
Rangers work under a constant threat in the field, may it be from the animals they protect, commercial poachers or armed militia groups. Poaching networks are today heavily armed, ruthless and they are prepared to kill anything standing in their way of getting what they want.
According to The Thin Green Line Foundation‚ a foundation providing urgent aid, equipment, training and funding to Rangers and their families in low-income countries and conflict zones, at least 119 rangers have died in the line of duty over the last 12 months and at least 1000 in the past decade. Sean Willmore‚ managing director of The Thin Green line Foundation‚ said 42% were killed by poachers‚ 47% in work-related accidents and 11% by the animals they were protecting.
The first World Ranger Day was held in 2007 on the 15th anniversary of the founding of the International Ranger Federation. (IRF) The IRF was founded as a non-profit organisation in 1992 with the aim to raise awareness of and support the work that the worlds park ranges do in conservation.
“Rangers are the first and last line of defence for nature. The opportunity to support these brave warriors is a great privilege and we hope the rest of the world can join us in this mission. I am very proud of the team and their achievements”, Damien Mander, Founder of the IAPF.
It is of upmost importance for Wildhood to underline the dedicated effort and the significant role that the rangers play for our wildlife. They truly are heroes in the work of conservation and our hope in keeping endangered species safe.
Join us in honouring these heroes! How to Help
Photos: Tom Svensson, National Geographic for Damien Mander and Wildhood