Ivory, that is still stained in the blood of the elephant and that has been recovered during a successful anti-poaching operation or which has been found hidden amongst some or other illegal shipment destined to the East, is indeed a sad reminder of the harsh realities facing African elephants as a result of human greed and misbeliefs.
Words such as "War", "Total Onslaught" and "Global Terrorism Against The Environment" are rightfully being used to describe the poaching pandemic that is cutting vast swathes through Africa's wildlife and which is resulting in the killing of an elephant every 15 minutes.
At the very forefront of this "poaching war" are Africa’s rangers. They are the ones that have to face up to the well-organized and well-armed poachers and have to endure working in extremely harsh and dangerous conditions, often with little support or communication backup. They are the real conservation heroes and bush warriors that will ensure that the elephants and our other wildlife icons can continue to live and flourish on Africa's soils. It is high time that we all rise up and recognize the crucial role that these heroes play. We must support them in every way possible!
This project is carried out in partnership with the Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) that provides support, networks and representation for game rangers across Africa. This conservation photography project will use rangers as the “lead characters” to highlight the issues faced by conservationists and showcase opportunities for improved support of rangers in the future. Positive and targeted messages will be communicated that emphasise the critical role that rangers play in African conservation in ensuring that the continent’s natural heritage is preserved for the benefit of future generations. Support Africa’s Rangers by supporting the GRAA.
Peter Chadwick is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) whose mission is to further environmental and cultural conservation through photography. The iLCP’s goal is to use the art of high-quality photography to encourage people to take action in support of tangible and meaningful conservation measures.
Visit African Conservation Photography for a full gallery of Ranger images.