World Ranger Day is celebrated worldwide each year on July 31st to commemorate Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and to celebrate the work Rangers do to protect the planet's natural treasures and cultural heritage. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate day to give you an update on American Rhino’s efforts supporting wildlife conservation in Kenya
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on conservation in Kenya. The borders have been closed to non-Kenyans entering the country since April. While the lack of tourists and human contact with wildlife certainly has its benefits, the lack of tourism revenue has had a major negative effect. The tourist dollars provide critical funding for conservation projects including the basics like food and supplies for the Rangers on patrol.
Through our partnership with the Safari Collection we have had numerous conversations with the Mara Rhino Ranger team and the Masai Mara National Reserve on the condition of wildlife in the greater Masai Mara. The Rhino Ranger team told us poaching has greatly increased in the Mara during Covid-19. Ironically, the lack of tourists and visitors being around the wildlife enables poachers to be “unseen” and not reported to the Rangers. With limited information being passed along to the Rangers has resulted in more patrols and larger geographic areas needing Ranger attention. With greatly reduced budgets and additional resources becoming scarce, the wildlife is at significantly greater risk.
In June, American Rhino, Safari Collection, and the Mara Rhino Rangers developed a plan to respond to an increasingly difficult situation. The Rangers identified locations for new lookout stations and requested American Rhino provide tents, bedding and provisions for the stations. In addition, the Rangers informed us they were running out of diesel for patrol vehicles and desperately needed fuel. The Safari Collection sprang into action and secured all of the necessary equipment and delivered it to the Rangers earlier this month.
Chief Ranger, Dennis Rotiken asked us to pass on his sincere gratitude to American Rhino community for all of your support. This recent grant is the fourth we have been able to provide for the brave Mara Rhino team. The American Rhino Foundation has raised over $200,000 from the support of all of our customers and friends. We are very proud to be able to represent all of you in our mission to protect endangered wildlife. Together we are making a difference and our efforts are working in reducing poaching even in this significantly challenging time.
Thanks for all of your support of these amazing Rangers.
A representative of the local authority responsible for managing the Masai Mara Reserve with the material delivered to the Mara Rangers.
Mara Ranger displays the support of American Rhino on his uniform.
Loading the new material for delivery to the Mara Ranger's depot.