Updated 31 July 2013

Rangers on the frontline

World Ranger Day (31 July 2013) celebrates the essential, often dangerous, on-the-ground work game rangers do in protecting our last wilderness areas.

Rangers are especially at risk where wildlife crime is rampant – nowhere more so than reserves hit by rhino poaching in southern Africa.

According to the Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA), in the last year alone at least 41 of Africa’s rangers have been reported to the International Ranger Federation (IRF) as having been killed in the line of duty. More deaths may go unreported.

You can help this year by making a donation to support anti-poaching units in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP), an area that has recently entered the rhino poaching wars. Donations are via the The Peace Parks Foundation, who are championing World Rangers Day and organising fundraising for GLTP rangers.

(The Peace Parks Foundation facilitates the establishment of transfrontier conservation areas or "peace parks". Their aim is biodiversity conservation, development of local human resources and promotion of regional peace and stability.)

There are about 50 field rangers in the GLTP. To keep them operational and as safe as possible, they need funds for equipment (e.g. night vision equipment, handheld radios, food rations, improvement of the ranger base), as well as incentives for rangers who risk their lives to protect wildlife.

You can meet game rangers and learn more about the work they do at the World Ranger Day Family Day hosted by the GRAA at The Joburg Zoo, Sunday 4 August 2013. Tickets are available on

- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor

Image of lion cub: Shutterstock

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