The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency’s (MTPA) today celebrated World Rangers Day at Loskop Dam Nature Reserve with the intention to celebrate and acknowledge the work performed daily by rangers working in all our protected areas.
World Rangers Day is recognized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on July 31 and it is an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful work that rangers do worldwide. The rangers work is often dangerous, difficult, unappreciated, unrecognized and even unknown. They dedicate their lives to protect what is not theirs but ours.
“We would like to applaud our rangers working hard in protecting our natural resources and risking their lives out there against fire, animal related deaths or even against poachers. We remain undoubtedly humbled with the work they are performing in the field”, said Mr. Abe Sibiya, Acting CEO of MTPA.
According to the International Ranger Federation (IRF) Roll of Honour, it has been reported that about 52 angers have lost their lives in the line of duty in the last 12 months. Majority have been killed by poachers. While the IRF continues to monitor ranger deaths since 2000, unfortunately some of those ranger deaths are not recorded.
“As we celebrate this special day we appeal to the communities at large to salute these brave men and women who have paid the ultimate price for conservation by celebrating their lives and indeed their calling on World Rangers Day. This is a chance for us to support their vital work. And with poaching still on the rise in South Africa we cannot afford to have rangers not operating at optimal levels. We are committed to provide the necessary support systems that rangers are so desperately in need of”, added Sibiya.
On this day we call upon the nation to go out of their way to provide support and care for these formidable protectors of our wildlife.