In the relentless fight to protect wildlife and preserve our planet’s biodiversity, rangers have to conduct tough foot patrols over large areas of challenging terrain and rugged landscapes. Operating across vast stretches of land and water, inadequate equipment can hinder their performance, compromising their personal safety and hampering conservation efforts.
The Wildlife Ranger Challenge provides greater recognition for rangers’ tremendous work across Africa, as well as highlighting the essential progress required for rangers to effectively complete their work. The average ranger works 76 hours per week, often in poor and dangerous conditions, with increased risk of catching diseases such as malaria – studies showed that 75% of rangers in Africa reported that they had contracted malaria within the last year.*
“The problem faced by rangers during patrol is that we don’t have adequate equipment to perform our work, like boots and raincoats,”
Rangers take on a multitude of roles, but all of them require suitable footwear, so we are equipping our participating ranger teams for success through the generous sponsorship of Ranger Lab and Jim Green Footwear, who have donated 500 pairs of socks and boots respectively.
Ranger Lab has developed high-quality, all-purpose socks that cater to the demands of wildlife rangers and has collaborated closely with rangers to incorporate their insights into the design process. Jim Green Footwear provides rangers with durable boots, which contribute to their safety, comfort, and overall performance. For every ten pairs of boots sold, Jim Green Footwear donates a pair to a ranger through their partnership with the Game Rangers Association of Africa.
Improving the employment conditions of rangers is especially critical in biodiversity hotspots where insufficient efforts to protect wildlife may have global repercussions. The globally-set protection target of 30% of the planet by 2030 requires an increase in well trained and equipped rangers. Currently there are an estimated 286k rangers on the planet, but to meet these protection targets, projections show we need 1.5m*. A more efficient solution is to scale up the resources, funding, skills and opportunities provided to rangers – a key aim of the Wildlife Ranger Challenge.
Joining forces with Ranger Lab and Jim Green Footwear, we are taking the right steps to ensure rangers are provided with high-quality, durable gear. By equipping high-performing ranger teams, these organisations have demonstrated their commitment to the front lines of conservation, ensuring better support for wildlife rangers during their harsh and unpredictable work.