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blog1Rangers face tremendous odds whilst undertaking their work protecting Africa’s remaining wild places. A recent survey of rangers conducted by the WWF showed that almost 80% of the 1742 respondents had faced a life-threatening encounter during their work.

Tragically, in the last 12 months at least 137 rangers have died worldwide according to the International Ranger Federation. The Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) has recorded 59 ranger deaths in Africa meaning that at least 384 African rangers have been killed in action since 2012. It must be remembered that these figures only reflect those deaths reported and actual estimates are thought to be significantly higher.

‘On World Ranger Day we acknowledge our ranger colleagues who have fallen in the line of duty over the year. We also pay tribute to the family members left behind in neighbouring communities whenever a ranger is killed. It is our duty to ensure the sacrifices made by rangers and their families do not go unnoticed and for us to continue to support Africa’s rangers,’ said Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of the GRAA.

The GRAA through a joint initiative with SATIB Insurance Brokers called RangerProtect supports the accidental death, disability and medical evacuation cover of over 1500 rangers across Africa. Costing just $30 per ranger per year this insurance cover provides financial support to the families of rangers killed in action and ensures rangers receive in field support if they are injured.

With such perilous risks in the field it is easy for ranger morale to waver. Since 2012, the GRAA has facilitated the Rhino Conservation Awards to recognise their efforts and help motivate rangers in the field. On World Ranger Day we congratulate all the nominees, finalists and winners of these prestigious awards. You inspire us! The winners will be announced at 12h00 SAST (UTC+2) via our social media channels. Well done to you all!

Rangers need support and we are excited today to announce our involvement in a vital initiative to keep rangers supported as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across Africa. NATURAL STATE alongside organising partners Tusk Trust, GRAA, ForRangers, Global Wildlife Conservation, International Ranger Federation and the Thin Green Line Foundation are launching the Wildlife Ranger Challenge to help keep rangers in the field during these challenging times. The Scheinberg Relief Fund, the Challenge’s founding donor, has generously committed $5million of matching funds in support of rangers, with the goal of raising a total of $10 million and getting thousands of rangers back to full capacity.

More than 50 ranger teams across Africa will participate in a multi-million-dollar fundraising initiative to support the men and women across Africa’s protected areas who are enduring drastic cuts in salaries and resources due to the devastating economic impact of Covid-19 and yet are still working tirelessly to safeguard the continent’s iconic wildlife.

“This year it is exciting to be able to share some good news on World Ranger Day. Congratulations to all the nominees, finalists and winners of the Rhino Conservation Awards. Your amazing work does not go unnoticed! We are also extremely proud to be associated with the Wildlife Ranger Challenge which will support over 5000 rangers as they grapple with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Well done to NATURAL STATE, Tusk Trust, the Scheinberg Relief Fund and all the other project partners in supporting rangers during this trying time and ensuring they can perform their essential services which benefits species, habitats, ecosystems and communities,” added Campbell.


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