FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAVE THE DATE: ENDANGERED RANGERS:
A VIRTUAL FUNDRAISER FOR AFRICAN WILDLIFE AND THEIR HUMAN PROTECTORS ON DECEMBER 13, 2020
November 24, 2020 - There are brave frontline workers across the globe working to protect others. In Africa, these selfless warriors are not only safeguarding their communities, but also the wildlife where COVID-19 has accelerated the already ominous threats to their preservation. Endangered Rangers: A Virtual Fundraiser for African Wildlife & Their Human Protectors is the united effort of two game-changing conservation organizations who immediately shifted their efforts toward mitigating the economic hardships faced by the conservation community and restoring support for wildlife protection operations.
Ranger jobs are being cut due to the economic downturn in tourism while poaching has exploded, becoming a pandemic in and of itself. The responsibility of securing the future of endangered species rests heavily on these peacekeepers' - the rangers - shoulders. When you add in the suffering and loss we are all feeling across our communities combined with the inability to earn a livelihood, the burden is enormous.
This loss of conservation revenue, up to 90% in Eastern and Southern Africa, is crippling ranger livelihoods and creating security issues. The reduction in ranger patrols and visitors draws out brazen poachers putting more animals at risk, accelerating already unbelievable timelines for the eradication of key species, and derailing the considerable progress made in wildlife conservation. There has been an exponential increase in reports of poaching incidents, bushmeat seizures, and wire snares.
In an effort to counteract the domino effect COVID-19 has triggered, proceeds from the event will go towards two forward-looking organizations who are developing innovative, scalable, and effective anti-poaching initiatives - the African Community & Conservation Foundation which supports the Grumeti Fund and The Malilangwe Trust, and Zambezi Partners which supports Wild is Life. They were brought together through their shared mission to preserve African wildlife through the eradication of poaching using transformative community programs and advanced technologies.
In addition to critical ranger support, this fundraiser supports initiatives that are helping inform the development of anti-poaching hardware and software solutions such as AI cameras, predictive analytic platforms, event visualization tools, animal trackers, and secure communication networks. The field testing and data collected from the beneficiaries of Endangers Rangers will contribute towards efforts to make these solutions more inclusive of the variances among the over 7,800 protected areas in Africa.
Comprehending and solving for the differences in size, terrain, animal and forest density, funding, staffing, and the use cases are critical as resources are being developed. These findings will be shared with the wider conservation community to help advance innovation across the broader ecosystem.
“The beneficiaries of Endangered Rangers represent African reserves at varying stages of technology deployment,” said Jenna Seiden, former talent agent turned conservation technologist and fund manager at Zambezi Partners. “Ranger intelligence is vital in the evolution of these anti-poaching solutions, which is why their health and safety is our priority. We are honored to stand with ACCF and our entertainment industry family to share these stories of hope with the world.”
The Endangered Rangers virtual fundraiser will spotlight the specific challenges the coronavirus has added to anti-poaching operations in light of the fact that keystone species like the African elephant and lion are already being threatened with extinction within decades. And while the stories we will share highlight the severity of the situation on the ground in Africa, the event is meant to inspire hope and show a path forward.
“We are harnessing our relationships here at home to provide for the people in Africa who provide for the animals. We have so many success stories in the making, such as our rhino relocation program, that we cannot let the pandemic set us back,” said Brady Forseth, CEO of the African Community & Conservation Foundation. “Our rangers are the heart of operations and the eyes and ears for the wildlife. We are simply overjoyed with the response.”
Jenna is the co-founder of Zambezi Partners whose mission is to eradicate poaching in our lifetime with investment and technology.
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