Target: Ginette Hemley, the Senior Vice President of Wildlife Conservation for the World Wildlife Fund
Goal: Increase protections for wildlife rangers so they can defend against dangerous poachers and better protect endangered animals.
As illegal poachers become increasingly desperate and violent, wildlife rangers put their lives on the line every day to protect threatened and endangered species. Teams of rangers track, monitor, and defend animals such as lions, gorillas, African elephants, tigers, and black rhinos from poachers that will hunt and kill these beautiful animals in order to sell their body parts on the black market.
Unfortunately, criminals who make a living by hunting and killing protected animals aren’t above killing rangers. Further, rangers are in danger from militia groups, the wild animals they seek to protect, and the harsh, often remote environment they work in. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), over a thousand rangers have been killed in the line of duty in the last decade. This means that on average, nearly two rangers are killed every week, and these are only the officially reported deaths.
These dangers aren’t properly compensated for either, with rangers being given poor pay, little time to see their families, and limited equipment. Even the most basic essentials such as boots, blankets, and access to clean water are often limited and insufficient.
In recent years, more funding has been diverted towards high-tech methods for tracking groups of animals. This means the rangers who risk their lives every day to protect these animals are having their support cut. Proposed methods such as drones and satellites certainly have a part in tracking animals, and are great tools to assist rangers, but they cannot be allowed to force rangers out of their jobs. Wildlife rangers are the only on-the-ground defense against poachers, and a human presence is absolutely needed to literally stand in the way of these dangerous criminals.
Join us in encouraging the WWF to raise awareness of the dangers faced by wildlife rangers by signing the petition below.
Dear Ms. Hemley,
Wildlife rangers work in dangerous and often deadly conditions, coming face to face with poachers, militia groups, wild animals, and harsh conditions. Without these rangers, beautiful animals such as the elephant and rhino would have no protection from poachers, and would likely have been driven to extinction years ago.
These rangers are invaluable to maintaining a beautiful and diverse landscape for our future, and they desperately need more support and funding. Without proper training, supplies, and support for their families, the ability of rangers to protect themselves and the animals they track is compromised.
The WWF must focus on increasing awareness of the plight of wildlife rangers, as well as raising funds to be devoted to supporting them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jo Benn