The rangers that participate in the Wildlife Ranger Challenge reflect the great diversity within the profession, with many playing wide-ranging roles as conservationists, teachers, community support workers and leaders, contributing not just to protecting wildlife and supporting their immediate communities, but to global UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Africa’s rangers are deeply embedded within the communities that guardian the continent’s natural spaces and wildlife and provide a vital connection to those whose actions are fundamental to conservation success.
Rangers work in remote wilderness areas where communication is often difficult, and rangers can often feel isolated and alone in the important work they perform. The Wildlife Ranger Challenge provides an unparalleled network for rangers across the continent to connect and support each other.
These men and women are working in extremely hazardous conditions and environments with little or no safeguarding. 88.6%* of rangers surveyed across Africa had faced a life-threatening situation. 40% of those surveyed were not covered by health insurance, 50% had no life insurance and 60% had no long-term disability insurance.
The Wildlife Ranger Challenge, with one of its founding partners the Game Rangers Association of Africa, has a mission to highlight the value of the life of a ranger and a goal of ensuring as many rangers as possible on the continent have access to adequate insurance.
* IUCN WCPA (2020). PARKS. The International Journal of Protected Areas and Conservation, Volume 26.1, Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
WHO ARE RANGERS?
Rangers are the guardians of our natural and cultural heritage, protecting nature and wild places to maintain functioning ecosystems to benefit us all.
WHAT DO RANGERS DO?
Rangers protect and conserve wildlife, habitats, and ecosystems. They counter poaching and enforce laws, monitor and restore wildlife and habitats, provide environmental education, and empower and engage local communities.
WHY ARE RANGERS IMPORTANT?
Globally, rangers protect 15% of all land services and 7% of all seas; over 45 million km2 combined.