World Land Trust (WLT) is raising funds through the Keepers of the Wild appeal to support more rangers, who work hard to protect some of the most threatened habitats and wildlife on Earth.
On World Ranger Day, 31 July 2015, WLT launched a new appeal - Keepers of the Wild 2020 - to raise £750,000 to guarantee the programme between 2016 and 2020.
You can also donate by texting from your mobile phone. For example, if you’d like to donate £5, text KOTW14 £5 to 70070. The maximum donation by text at any one time is £10.
Since it was founded in 1989, WLT has had tremendous success in raising funds to save habitat. But our overseas project partners, in whom the ownership of the land is vested, have the task of protecting the reserves and the wildlife they contain. Protecting all this land puts a strain on our partner organisations. This project aims to help relieve this strain and help our partners to better protect vulnerable habitats.
When the programme was launched in 2011, WLT supported 10 conservation partners to employ rangers. The number of partners that have Keepers of the Wild has since increased and in 2015 WLT is funding 19 partners to employ 32 rangers in 15 countries.
Other Keepers of the Wild Projects:
To address the on-going need to increase protection for reserves and protected areas, the Trust is raising funds to support more reserve rangers.
Rangers are usually members of the local community and some were once hunters. This may seem a strange recruitment policy but, because of their knowledge of the project area, former hunters can make excellent wildlife guides and invariably turn into some of the best ambassadors for conservation within the local community.
The transition is a simple one: by earning a wage they become well-respected in their community and instead of hunting to feed their family, they are able to look after their families in a more sustainable and reliable way.
Ranger Dang Hieu
Ranger Quoc Hieu
Keepers of the Wild change from time to time, because the individuals change jobs, the WLT partners choose to rotate the designation Keeper of the Wild among a team of rangers, or because support for a Keeper of the Wild is no longer necessary.
Previous Keepers of the Wild include:
On average, £5,000 can support a ranger in the field for one whole year. This includes their salary, uniform and vital equipment such as binoculars and tools. From time to time WLT is able to get additional items sponsored, such as cameras and clothing for extremes in weather and inhospitable conditions. Donate to this Appeal »
For any individual or business who wishes to donate the full £5,000 we will identify a particular ranger for you to support. Donors will receive regular field reports from the sponsored ranger. Contact us directly to find out how you can help.
Rangers in the field provide the most obvious form of protection for habitat and biodiversity.
Their daily activities are likely to include:
- showing a presence on the reserve to deter would-be poachers of wildlife and plants
- checking reserves for signs of illegal activity
- liaising with other agencies-police and local government, for example - in concerted protection measures
- monitoring wildlife; setting camera-traps; recording tracks and signs
- assisting researchers with field surveys and data collection
- rescuing wildlife in difficulty
- ensuring boundaries are clearly marked to make others aware of protected areas
- putting up and repairing signs and fences, particularly stock fences
- making regular site visits and patrols (both night and day)
- keeping forest trails clear
- dealing with forest fires and storm damage
- taking tourists on guided walks through the reserves
- providing education for visitors and local communities, both formal and informal
- looking after tree nurseries and planting trees
Protected areas need on-going management and although owned by our partners, they are often still threatened by:
- Poaching and hunting
- Theft of rare plants
- Encroachment from neighbouring farms and developments
- Incursion from cattle and other farmed livestock
- (Occasionally) arson attacks and other forms of vandalism