Rising Murder Toll Of Park Rangers Calls For Tougher Laws
October 2014, Volume 12-5-I

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and the International Ranger Federation (IRF) call for a toughened stance against wildlife crime globally. 56 rangers have lost their lives in the line of duty in the last 12 months, 29 of whom have been killed by poachers. Last year’s death toll has reached 102, with poachers and militia responsible for 69 of those deaths. The figures represent only the confirmed deaths from some 35 countries that voluntarily report to the IRF, the actual number of rangers killed in the line of duty worldwide could be two to three times higher.

Almost 60% of all rangers killed this year are from Asia, with the majority of those from India. India, Thailand, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have seen the sharpest increase in ranger deaths. In DRC’s Virunga National Park alone, some 140 rangers have been killed in the last 15 years. IRF and its charity arm The Thin Green Line Foundation offer equipment and training to rangers and support the families of those who have lost their lives.

The extent and impact of illegal wildlife trade and new approaches to combat it, including effective enforcement strategies to combat wildlife poaching and associated crime, will be discussed at the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 taking place from 12 to 19 November in Sydney, Australia. A series of prime-time debates at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, the World Leaders’ Dialogues, will include a session called “The Nature of Crime”, which will discuss effective enforcement strategies to combat wildlife poaching and associated crime.

Source: IUCN News