In dealing with rhino poaching, we need to realise that there is a “cause” and an “effect” of the poaching. We have to set appropriate measures in place to deal with these separate issues. It must also be understood that experts in each of these fields will need to work on the problem. While it is imperative to remove the actual root cause, this will take considerable time and this must include demand reduction campaigns. Time, unfortunately is not what we currently have given the rate of at least three rhino being killed per day for their horns. It is therefore essential that for the short term, we stem the “effect” of this slaughter at ground level as much as possible.
The dedicated field rangers at the frontline of this poaching war are the ones that can reduce the “effect” of rhino poaching. We must thus ensure that these conservation heroes are well trained, well equipped and fully supported to be able to undertake their difficult task of anti-poaching in order to stop the carnage. Without them, we will loose this fight to save the rhino!
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.