Snares Decimate Africa’s Wildlife Heritage

Deadly snares_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

While the world’s media largely focuses on rhino and elephant poaching on the African continent, the sad reality is that thousands of animals of many other species are dying on a daily basis through snaring and the bush-meat trade.

While it must be granted that some of this snaring is for subsistence for impoverished communities, the vast majority of animals are killed for the commercial bush-meat trade. Conservation rangers dealing with this form of poaching still have to face poachers that are armed with spears, bush knives and firearms and who are also often accompanied by packs of hunting dogs. Rangers will often lie in ambush for days at a time waiting for the return of the poachers that have set the snares and when poachers are caught, the judiciary often sees these cases as "lesser crimes" and hand out weak or no sentences. The fact is, that our wildlife is being decimated at all levels and our conservation staff need our full support in the undertaking of their difficult and often dangerous duties!

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.