Fighting crime, educating the public, and protecting our heritage… all in a day’s work for the rangers that safeguard Earth’s most treasured locations.

Every day, across the globe, men and women dedicate their lives to preserving some of our most beloved natural and cultural heritage sites. On this World Rangers Day, we honor those who have fallen and celebrate those who courageously continue their duties, reflecting on the vital role they play in preserving the wonders of our planet.

Perhaps you’ve visited any of the world’s hundreds of national parks and wondered what it would be like to work as a ranger. Working in nature is one of the many perks for these hands-on heroes, but their job description would be incomplete without the imminent threat of danger. 

Park rangers face an array of obstacles in their line of duty, from natural disasters like avalanches to criminal encounters like gun fights. Aside from being subject to the unpredictable whims of nature, many of Earth’s natural parks are hotbeds of illegal human activity such as logging and the poaching of endangered wildlife.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature:

  • India, Thailand, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have seen the sharpest increase in ranger deaths caused by poachers in recent years.
  • Areas rich in elephants, rhinos, sandalwood, rosewood and other valuable resources are most affected.
  • In DRC’s Virunga National Park alone, some 140 rangers have been killed in the last 15 years.
  • More than 1,000 rangers have been killed worldwide and many more injured over the last 10 years.
  • Rangers in Uganda, DRC and Rwanda have been directly responsible for an increase in the number of Mountain Gorillas, risking their lives to ensure the survival of this critically endangered species.
  • Community Maasai rangers in Kenya have helped increase the local lion population on their community lands from just six individuals to over 70.

These stories of heroism highlight the remarkable passion demonstrated by rangers around the world as they fight greed and ignorance in the name of protecting the earth’s natural splendors.

On behalf of #WildForLife, we extend an enormous thank you to the men and women serving our planet every day and protecting the wildlife we love.

Happy World Rangers Day!