Today, the 22nd of April 2016, as we celebrate Earth Day, we awaken to the announcement that the South African Government will no longer be bidding for a legal trade in rhino horn at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) at its September meeting in Johannesburg. Now that this firm step has been taken, it is a time for all conservationists to stand together to find collective solutions to stop this slaughter of one of Africa’s iconic species.
Key to the survival of the rhino (and many other species, including elephant!) are the rangers that are tasked with protecting our conservation areas. It is these conservation heroes that will be undertaking the patrols to prevent the poaching while the higher-level strategies that will include demand reduction are being developed and implemented.
This conservation photography 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.