Wildlife Ranger Challenge
Ranger Teams from 20 African countries are joining forces in the Wildlife Ranger Challenge to support thousands of their colleagues as they brace for an increase in poaching.
Wildlife Rangers see no relief in sight, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact Africa’s communities and wildlife. The pressures on Africa’s protected areas threaten to compromise decades of development and conservation success through the elimination of essential funding for wildlife protection that comes from tourism and through an increase in poaching.
In 2020, the Wildlife Ranger Challenge was mobilised to tackle the crisis. $10m was raised to support over 9,000 rangers who collectively work to protect more than 4,000,000 km2 of conservation areas across Africa providing salaries, equipment and operating costs.
In 2021, the Wildlife Ranger Challenge will bring together more than 150 ranger teams across 20 African countries to participate in a series of mental and physical challenges, culminating in the Wildlife Ranger Challenge 21km half marathon on September 18th. The challenge allows rangers to showcase their important work, and provide a platform for their organisations to generate funding.
This global awareness campaign will use the power of ranger voices, influencers and celebrities to encourage the public to support Africa’s rangers by donating to the Ranger Fund.
The Wildlife Ranger Challenge is overseen by an independent steering committee made up of conservation leaders and is being coordinated by Tusk and Natural State in collaboration with leading ranger associations.
Members of the Steering Committee are: H.E Professor Judi Wakhungu, Kenya’s Ambassador to France; Chris Galliers, President, International Ranger Federation; Koutoua Benoît Amon, Chargé d’études et Coordonnateur Brigade Mobile, Office Ivoirien des Parcs et Réserves; Dr. Jonathan Baillie, President, NATURAL STATE; Daniel Ole Sambu, Maasai Tribal Leader and Coordinator, Predator Compensation Fund at Big Life Foundation; Charles Mayhew MBE, Chief Executive Officer, Tusk Trust; Dr Ali Kaka, Vice President, IUCN, Member of Kenya Ministerial Advisory Committee; Brighton Kumchedwa, Director of Parks and Wildlife, Malawi; Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, Game Rangers’ Association of Africa.
The Scheinberg Relief Fund, a philanthropic fund established by businessman and philanthropist Mark Scheinberg, and his family, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, is the founding donor of the Wildlife Ranger Challenge.
The Three Main Components of the Wildlife Ranger Challenge:
- Virtual Race: A competition with teams of rangers from across Africa running in a 21km half-marathon on 18, September 2021.
- Mental and Physical Challenges: Rangers testing their physical and mental ability with a push-up and sit-up challenge, and a wildlife knowledge ranger quiz. Challenges run from August 16th through September 3rd.
- Ranger Fund: The Scheinberg Relief Fund has generously committed $1.35m in matched funds in support of the rangers most in need. A global public fundraising and awareness campaign for the Wildlife Ranger Challenge seeks to raise a total of $5m for the Ranger Fund to support thousands of rangers in the field.