Kate on Conservation

What is World Female Ranger Day?

world female ranger day - female rangers in Africa

Today is the first ever World Female Ranger Day – a day dedicated to recognising, celebrating and supporting female anti-poaching rangers in Africa and beyond!

Co-founded by Holly Budge, Founder of How Many Elephants (HME) and Margot Dempsey (Head of Communications at HME; World Female Ranger Day is a ground-breaking global awareness day that celebrates and supports female anti-poaching rangers, spotlighting Africa in its first year.

Why is it important to support female rangers?

They’re bold, changing the game and paving the way for women to stand alongside men at the forefront of conservation, but they need allies.

This is the first time that female wildlife rangers will be recognised collectively on a global interactive and fundraising-focused platform, to tell their stories, have access to peer support, offer and receive advice, and share knowledge.

black mambas stop killing rhinos

As champions of wildlife conservation, as role models, as educators and as beacons of hope, these women are not only transforming attitudes towards the role of women in Africa and beyond but are also showing the capabilities and success of females in traditionally male roles.

Currently, less than 11% of the global wildlife ranger workforce is female. With women being natural communicators, protectors and investing their earned income in their families, bringing gender equality into the workforce enhances conservation efforts and relationships within communities.

Inaugural World Female Ranger Day

This year, World Female Ranger Day, is spotlighting the incredible work of female anti-poaching rangers in Africa, including The Black Mambas, IAPF Akashinga Rangers, the scouts at National Park Rescue, the rangers at Conservation Lower Zambezi, and many more.⠀⠀⠀⠀

Leitah Mkhabela, a ranger from the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit in South Africa

Over the last 12 months, COVID-19 has crippled tourism and funding for conservation projects within Africa and globally. The lack of tourists visiting National Parks has led to many rangers losing their jobs or having significant salary cuts.

The knock-on effect of this is huge, as one ranger alone may support up to 16 family members. Additionally, reduced vigilance in tourist hotspots has left wildlife even more vulnerable to poaching. The work of rangers is paramount right now.

Support from ‘How Many Elephants’

In dedication to supporting female anti-poaching rangers, How Many Elephants (HME) has established this important awareness day and the accompanying online platform – www.worldfemalerangerday.org

Video message from Black Mambas to How Many Elephants event at Royal Geographical Society
Video message from Black Mambas to How Many Elephants event at Royal Geographical Society

This is an interactive and fundraising-focused platform, where female rangers can come together to tell their stories, access peer support, offer and receive advice, and share knowledge. People will be able to register for the World Female Ranger Day Challenge, including ranger teams, where they can fundraise to support conservation efforts in Africa. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

How Many Elephants aims to collate gender-specific data about female anti-poaching rangers, identify their needs, find tangible solutions, and build effective policies to contribute towards positive outcomes for female rangers and conservation as a whole.

Through the World Female Ranger Day initiative, wild animals will have a greater chance of survival, as there will be a stronger presence of anti-poaching rangers on the front line who will safeguard wild spaces and deter poaching activity.

As recently as the 25th March 2021, Africa’s elephant species have been reported to be at an increased risk of extinction due to being poached for their ivory tusks and losing their natural habitats due to human activity. The forest elephant is now listed as Critically Endangered, and savanna elephants are listed as Endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. This further proves the need for the presence of anti-poaching rangers in Africa’s wilderness areas.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Find out more over at: worldfemalerangerday.org

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