World Ranger Day 2020

By 30th July 2020Blog, News

Coming so close after Global Tiger Day, it’s sometimes easy to forget that conservation is about people as much as it is about wildlife. Today, World Ranger Day is a timely reminder. Facing armed and organised gangs, hard-working, dedicated men and women all over the world, work long hours in inhospitable conditions every day. They are often ill-equipped and away from their families for long periods of time. Without their daily actions, wildlife and wild places would be in an much more alarming state. 

Today we mark #WorldRangerDay with a celebration of the brave men and women who risk their lives on the frontline of wildlife conservation.


An overnight camp in Kerinci Seblat National Park

The Kerinci Seblat Tiger Protection and Conservation Units (TPCU) are national park rangers who work with Fauna & Flora International (FFI) to protect Sumatran tigers in the second largest protected area in Indonesia.  The rangers travel, unarmed, in groups of four and remain in the forest for four or five days at a time, carrying everything they need with them in their packs and building a new camp every evening before nightfall. Each year the TPCUs compete against each other in the Kerinci Snare Sweep to see how many snares they can confiscate.  In 2019 the TPCU’s worked with local law enforcement to collect the evidence to catch and successfully prosecute five poachers and to catch an encroacher who subsequently was sentenced to three years imprisonment. 

Muslim, who joined the team in 2002, now leads one of three Jambi-based TPCUs.



The rangers of Bikin National Park

Snowmobile travel © Phoenix Fund

Phoenix Fund work with rangers from 5 difference Protected Areas who patrol throughout freezing winters and hot summers, using 4-wheel-drive vehicles, quad bikes, boats, skis and snowmobiles. The rangers investigate unauthorised entry into National Parks, confiscate weapons, issue citations,  and collaborate in the capture and prosecution of poachers and others acting illegally.  In 2019 the ranger’s actions resulted in a 26% decline in the incidence of unauthorized presence of people in the 5 PAs. Incentives are provided by the Phoenix Fund for the rangers who excel. 


Rangers at work across the seasons © Phoenix Fund


A Khao Laem ranger with a confiscated snare

The rangers of Khao Laem National Park in Thailand work with Freeland to protect the Indochinese tigers that live in and pass through the park.  Eight ranger units patrolled 2,521 days over a total distance of 24,798kms. In 2019 they took part in training sessions on first aid and navigation and how to implement camera trap surveys.  Rangers risk their lives in a forest close to the Myanmar border which has attracted the attention of armed poachers in the past.

 We would especially like to pay tribute to Mr. Pongsiri Thongdee, who assisted the Freeland Khao Laem tiger survey team in Thailand. Mr Thongdee died recently, two days after returning from his patrol from leptospirosis – a disease carried in contaminated water sources. He was only 35.



Freeland provides training for the rangers of Khao Laem