Field rangers are the first and often last line of defense when poaching incidents occur in protected areas. To carry out this function field rangers require dedication, physical fitness and a high level of competency in their field of work or function. At an advanced level, tactical skills training, will increase the ranger’s chances of survival in the event of an armed attack and will ensure that all available energy and resources are used to secure the area, root out corruption and protect wildlife assets.
Drawing on real-life experience, our Wildlife Guardian training programme aims to upgrade field intelligence gathering, improve area coverage, detect and combat illegal activities and counter any armed threat whilst also developing junior leadership skills and building the capacity of wildlife conservation staff so that they see themselves as important safeguards or guardians of our natural heritage and wildlife. Rangers are also trained to establish or better maintain an informer network thereby monitoring any poaching activity that may be planned.
Once the basic training is in place, rangers are given the necessary tactical skills to manage the poaching situation, from monitoring and tracking through to the gathering of evidence and subsequent arrest. This in effect means that the Wildlife Guardian programme is a multi-faced training endeavor aimed at training rangers, at different levels of competency to assist in countering the current poaching activities taking place in Africa’s game reserves.
As part of the tactical training, the specialized Extended Clandestine Patrols (ECP) Course is aimed at increasing the detection rate of poaching attempts and incidents, denying poachers EEFIs (essential elements of friendly information) on security patrols in order to plan their attacks and acting offensively against armed suspects if required.
“The biggest investment in wildlife is to have thoroughly trained staff to protect it! I am convinced that focus on threatened species remains crucial for achieving and promoting conservation. Preservation of an entire ecosystem frequently results from efforts to save a particular species…” Ruben de Kock, African Field Ranger Services/Head: Protected Area Integrity Department