Members of an elite anti-poaching unit stand watch and provide security protection throughout a white rhino capture. During the capture, DNA samples are collected from the horn, a transponder is fitted and the ears of the young rhino are notched to aid easy identification of the animal into the future.
A radio collar is also fitted onto the hind leg so that the animal may be easily found and regularly monitored. This is all part of a strategy to ensure safety of the rhinos that are facing continual and increasing threats from poachers. Additionally, the samples of DNA and blood that were collected will help in judicial cases where poachers are found with rhino horn or parts.
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.