Africa’s rangers are stretched to capacity and continue to see drastic cuts in resources and an increase in poaching due to the devastating economic impact of COVID-19. For the second year running, Wildlife Ranger teams are now uniting around the Wildlife Ranger Challenge, with one goal: to raise money for the Ranger Fund to get thousands of rangers back in the field and protect iconic African wildlife such as elephants, pangolins, rhinos, and lions.
In support of World Ranger Day, more than 150 ranger teams across Africa are gearing up for the 2021 Wildlife Ranger Challenge, a multi-million-dollar fundraising initiative to support the men and women across Africa’s protected areas. The Wildlife Ranger Challenge will support Africa’s rangers to safeguard the continent’s iconic wildlife. Starting on July 31st, the Wildlife Ranger Challenge will bring together more than 150 ranger teams, across 19 African countries to participate in a series of mental and physical challenges, culminating in the Wildlife Ranger Challenge 21km half marathon on September 18th. The challenge allows rangers to showcase their important work, and provide a platform for their organisations to generate funding.
With the generous support of the Scheinberg Relief Fund in both 2020 and 2021, participants and partners have been able to protect 119 conservation areas, 4,243,769 km² of wild ecosystems and support the jobs and livelihoods of 9,473 rangers working on the frontline in 20 countries across Africa. By safe-guarding their jobs, an additional 64,024 family dependents and community members are benefitting — and the fundraising is not yet over. The $10 million raised so far has provided a lifeline for many protected areas, ranger teams as well as families. We feel we have been able to provide critical support to most of the high impact protected areas and these grants will help them make it through the devastating economic implications of COVID-19.
Photo credit: Martin Buzora