- 105 rangers were killed worldwide in the past year.
- Jane Goodall is backing Thin Green Line Foundation to support and better equip rangers everywhere
- The President of The Thin Green Line shares a couple important things you can do this World Ranger Day
“When you next read a story to a young child that involves a wild animal, like I do with my son, think about who is protecting those animals and ecosystems; who is risking their life to ensure these animals are kept alive in the wild, and not only in zoos…think of the brave park rangers and if you can, try and support them, for they are the protectors of nature and life itself,” Sean Willmore of the International Ranger Federation (IRF) told Mongabay on this 10th annual World Ranger Day.
Willmore is himself a ranger and President of the IRF (and The Thin Green Line Foundation, which supports rangers everywhere), so he has a strong perspective and mandate. And with 105 rangers being killed in the line of duty this past year (see Honor Roll here), the mission to support and protect his fellow rangers is critical (42% died at the hands of poachers, 47% in work related accidents, and 11% were killed by the animals they were sworn to protect).
Many others are stepping up to protect these men and women on the frontlines of nature protection today, including Mongabay advisory board member Jane Goodall who recorded a special video message to rangers everywhere, saying in part, “I know that many of you risk your lives almost every day and this is because the fight against poachers in some places is becoming almost like a war and many of the poachers are now well armed; many Rangers I know are losing their lives or becoming disabled. So on this World Ranger Day, I hope that thousands of people around the world will give pause to honor you for the work that you do and to try and find a way to help you.”
Unlike in places like the U.S. or E.U., many rangers around the world truly do need much more support than they currently receive, and it’s not just better guns, Willmore told Mongabay. “Rangers need to be trained, equipped [and] respected for their critical work. They need everything from boots, socks, wet weather gear, mosquito nets, first aid kits, water purification, [to] schools for their kids, salaries, insurance, support for the family if a ranger is killed and [most] importantly, acknowledgement for their brave work.”
One can support rangers everywhere by watching and sharing The Thin Green Line documentary, and taking a photo of yourself, your work colleagues, or your family holding IRF’s “I Stand With Rangers…” sign before posting it with the listed hashtags on your social media pages and on the IRF’s Facebook page (more suggestions here at IRF’s website).
Banner image: Kahuzi-Biega National Park rangers stand in formation at the park in October, 2016. Photo by Thomas Nicolon for Mongabay.