Peace Parks’ rangers, scouts and other park guardians play a vital role in conservation management and protection, often spending long, hard hours on patrol or in pursuit of those who prey on precious and vulnerable wildlife and other valuable resources for commercial gain. This past year they have faced many challenges and have had many successes too. As well as their usual job, the rangers have been tasked with filming their daily goings-on, so that viewers of Peace Parks TV can get an insight into the world of conservation from a conservation guardian’s point of view.

They have shown us just how wide-ranging their job is. With a passion for protecting the environment and the wildlife in it, they are highly trained for counter-poaching operations. In Malawi’s Nyika National Park this year alone they have traced and removed hundreds of snares which are responsible for slow and painful wildlife deaths and injury. In Banhine and Zinave national parks, situated in the Mozambique component of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, rangers have tracked illegal logging operations and been up all night staking out illegal fishers on the Massingir Dam.

These men and women have also patrolled hundreds of kilometers of fence line on the reserves, to ensure they are intact to keep wildlife in and commercial poachers out. They have helped to monitor wildlife health and numbers and have handled many human-wildlife conflicts successfully. In the buffer zone of Maputo Special Reserve, rogue elephants have either been herded back into the reserve or translocated into larger areas where they have space and protection to thrive.

When the rangers are not on operations they have been hard at work maintaining their fitness throughout the year. Tiaan, Counter-Poaching Unit Coordinator in Zinave, has regularly put them through their paces. This year, seven teams from Peace Parks have also pushed themselves to the limit in the Wildlife Ranger Challenge, running 21 kilometers over difficult terrain while carrying heavy backpacks, to raise money and awareness for Peace Parks’ rangers and their families who have been greatly affected by the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the work doesn’t stop at the end of their day. When in camp, they work as a close family unit, everyone taking turns to cook, clean and manage the camp. With base camps often miles from any shops or conveniences, they have to be chefs, mechanics, tailors and barbers too!

Peace Parks is extremely proud of their rangers’ dedication, hard work and passion.