Rangers are the eyes and ears of the reserves. They go out on regular patrols by day, and sometimes by night, and their field reports provide important information about the security and well being of the reserves and the wild inhabitants. Often the mere presence of a ranger is enough to deter a would be hunter or illegal logger.
A report of poachers apprehended may make an exciting news story, but when rangers increasingly report on wildlife sightings, tracks and signs, it is a reassuring reflection that protection measures are working.
“It is good to find that the rangers’ reports are more about finding wildlife than illegal activities,” explains Roberto Pedraza, GESG’s Technical Director. “It means that neighbours and other folks are respecting the reserves and that logging has been effectively eliminated, as well as poaching and cattle incursion.”
Ranger Abel has been active in his patrols in recent months and is now regularly seeing Bearded Wood Partridge (vulnerable to extinction) and Crested Guan, tracks of deer and peccary (known locally as javelina), Puma territorial markings and Rattlesnakes.
(Roberto Pedraza, GESG Technical Director)
“These are all signs of a healthy forest,” explains Roberto. “They would be unusual and exciting for other people, but these sightings are part of the routine for GESG’s rangers.”
Earlier in the year, Leonel, another GESG ranger came back from a patrol “quite excited, as he’d found a large group of javelinas – Collared Peccary – at Las Arenitas Reserve,” said Roberto. “Rangers often see tracks but this time there were 15 to 20 javelinas, so that was quite remarkable.”
You can support the important work of Abel and other reserve rangers by donation to Keepers of the Wild.