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Rangers on the Frontlines of Conservation
They serve under various titles—rangers, forest guards, eco guard and field enforcement officers—but these men and women on the frontlines of conservation are perhaps the most important protectors of the world's natural and cultural treasures. Rangers work tirelessly to protect some of the world's most endangered species like tigers, elephants and rhinos, which are also among the most widely targeted wildlife by poachers for the illegal wildlife trade.
Rangers live—and sometimes die—to protect nature.
According to the Thin Green Line Foundation, 1,000 rangers were killed in the last 10 years. That's close to 2 rangers a week, every week for the last decade. Governments often lack resources to equip and train rangers. They usually earn very little and some go months without receiving their salary or seeing their families. While there is a clear need for more and better equipped rangers on the ground, WWF recognizes that supporting rangers must go beyond backpacks and boots. In order to be effective, these Rangers must be backed by national laws that are enforced and they must have the respect of colleagues in the government.
We can't afford to fail
WWF's strategy to stop wildlife crime starts with bolstering grassroots conservation and the rangers that are on the frontline of the battle to save nature. It extends to efforts influencing governments and policy changes at international fora. If we are to defeat the powerful crime syndicates at the center of this heinous trade, we must work together at all levels. In 2013, WWF supported the establishment of the Ranger Federation of Asia (RFA), aimed at creating a community for rangers, gaining recognition for their work, and connecting with other ranger organizations. For nearly two decades, WWF's Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program (EFN) has provided support and training to conservation leaders—including rangers—in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Since 1994, EFN has supported training for over three thousands park rangers from more than 20 countries. Today, we continue to back rangers in many protected areas around the world.
Will you back a ranger today?
In support and appreciation of these conservation heroes, WWF is asking you to do three things: