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 lanuched in 2011, WLT worked with 10 project partners. The number of project partners that have Keepers of the Wild has since increased and as funding continues we hope to support rangers in other partners' reserves.
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.
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