On World Ranger Day 2018, we want to celebrate the rangers who help protect our forests, our jungles, our oceans and our wildlife from illegal activities around the world.
Rangers watch over some of the most endangered wildlife on the planet, often risking their own lives for the animals they have set out to protect.
With an ever-increasing demand for animal parts in the illegal wildlife trade, sadly, the number of challenges that wildlife rangers face every day is growing.
Devastating new figures released today show the number of rangers losing their lives on the frontline is growing.
World Ranger Day 2018 is a chance to kickstart our efforts calling on governments to review and improve shortcomings that place rangers lives at risk. To urge for more adequate training, especially emergency first aid. And importantly, to advocate for 100% insurance coverage for serious injuries and loss of life.
Read the captivating stories of these most remarkable people on the frontline of wildlife conservation.
I Protect Tigers
Tigers are powerful, they are beautiful, they are perfect… and they can coexist with humans.
Pavel Fomenko, Tiger Protector
Pavel Fomenko is a Tiger Protector and Head of the Rare Species Conservation Unit at WWF Russia's Amur branch. He knows the forests of the Russian Far East like the back of his hand, and uses this knowledge to help protect the endangered Amur tiger.
It’s a lonely and dangerous job. A few months ago Pavel was injured in a rare tiger attack while performing routine vaccinations on a tigress at Alekseevka Rehabilitation Centre. He accidentally encroached on a tiger’s ‘forbidden territory’ and she attacked, evidently to protect her cubs. This incident sent Pavel to intensive care with a large gash on his face – an injury he dismissed as a “kiss from the tiger.”
Pavel is now back at work, although he finds it difficult to talk following reconstructive surgery on his cheekbone and jaw, fixed with titanium plates.
Read more about Pavel
I Protect Rhinos
I dream to see a poaching free Kenya. I really dream to see those days.
DOREEN ADONGO, RHINO PROTECTOR
Doreen Adongo is 24 years old and lives in Nairobi, married, no children, loves music - she also spends her days protecting the rhinos of Nairobi National Park from the threat of poachers.
Doreen is one of the few female rangers in Nairobi National Park. She’s part of a monitoring and surveillance team of 60 rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Services who are protecting about 92 rhino and other wildlife from the threat of poachers.
Doreen had to pass a six-month paramilitary training program to qualify as a ranger, and has been working in the park for over two years. She spends her days camped in the park with other rangers, getting up before dawn for morning patrols, sweeping their designated section of the park for signs of overnight incursions by poachers. Each ranger is armed with a rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition.
I Protect Elephants
Mr. Aung Thike Oo has been a ranger for over 10 years in Nga Pu Taw Township, Ayeyarwady Division in Myanmar.
He is a second generation ranger. His love and passion to protect wild Asian elephants was passed down to him by his father. Demand for elephant skin has rapidly risen since last year, according to a study by WWF-Myanmar. Many Chinese still believe that elephant skin can cure skin diseases and gastritis. It’s also used in making jewellery. The increasing demand from China for elephant parts has led to the killing of more elephants in Myanmar.
In March 2018, he was acknowledged for his active participation in a successful elephant poacher prosecution case.
I Protect Forests
Why do I want to protect our forests? Well, they cannot protect themselves and are in dire need of our assistance. When the forests are lost, it is the wildlife that will be lost too. My dream is to protect our forests. I am busy living out my dream now.r
Rida Kheng, Forests Protector
Rida Kheng is 22 years old and the first female Ministry of Environment Ranger in Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia.
As a young girl, Rida witnessed the forests around her home being destroyed. It caused her “pain in her heart” to see the trees being cut down and see the impacts on wildlife first hand.
Growing up she decided to further her study in Forestry Science in Phnom Penh to gain a better understanding of why the forests are so vital to us.
Her family is very supportive toward her decision to become a ranger. Rida says she’s one of the lucky ones to have open-minded parents.
“Through working as a ranger I will not only get to help save the forests but I will also be continuously learning on the job.”
She realised early that her study and work as a ranger were interlinked and she wants to pass on her knowledge to the people around her as well as her ‘brother rangers’.
“My brother rangers never look down on me. All the brothers at my post always help me and share everything with me, like I am their sister.”
Her ranger training was tough. Her whole team had to do a two-week course with the Cambodian Military. Every morning they ran seven kilometres and every evening they walked 25km with a gun and a backpack.
I Protect Turtles
YES I would protect turtles when I get older so they still exist for other kids to see them as when I was little.
Lacie Hansen, Girringun Ranger in trainingr
Lacie Hansen is part of the future generation of Girringun Rangers. She first started out when she was only nine years old as a Junior Ranger.
She’s now 16 and her passion for marine turtles has only grown further.
She’s gained much more experience about how to protect marine turtles and how to look after the sea Country. Lacie may not be a Junior Ranger anymore since she started high school, but she still goes out turtle tagging with her mum, Cindy-Lou Togo who as it happens is a Girringun Ranger.
Her most recent work was at James Cook University Turtle Health Research Facility in Townsville where Lacie was a volunteer helping baby green turtles at the newly opened nursery.
She just loved the fact that green turtle hatchlings would give a little fight before they let her tag them, it reminded her that “you have to fight before you give up”.
Lacie aspires to become a vet and a Girringun Ranger.