Poachers Spoor

Poachers spoor_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographerFor my ranger mentoring and training, I always try and work under the most realistic situations as possible as this definitely gives the ranger teams the best opportunities for learning under a controlled environment.

During one recent training session where we were undertaking a clandestine patrol, we were working through a wide and densely vegetated riverbed and the tracker at the head of the anti-poaching team discovered the light indents of the fresh spoor of a poacher. Obviously we followed up, but what made the situation somewhat bizarre was listening to the sound of game-drive vehicles close by that were laden with guests who were laughing and enjoying their early morning game-viewing as we crept cautiously through the bush, following up on the spoor.

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.