The work of Africa’s rangers is not only about undertaking law enforcement patrols against poachers. They also assist in other important conservation tasks such as game capture, fighting fires and of course monitoring the wildlife that they spend so much time protecting. They are the eyes and ears on the ground that report back on the overall well being of the protected areas in which they work.
As part of my field trip capturing images for the ranger project, I spent a privileged few days photographing the notching of White Rhino's at Phinda Game Reserve. It was the rangers who assisted with all of the heavy work and they undertook their duties with huge appreciation and eagerness of being able to get up close to the animals that they are willing to risk their lives for.
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.