World Ranger Day is celebrated annually 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. Each year a Ranger Roll of Honour is released in memory of the rangers that died in the line of duty. In 2020, over 151 Rangers died worldwide, through animal attack, drowning, motor vehicle accident, homicide from poachers, and firefighting. This included conservation areas in India, Zimbabwe, Thailand, USA, and Brazil. In the DC Congo, where rangers work to protect the endangered Gorilla population, over 15 Rangers died in 2020 whilst protecting the animals from poachers. In Australia, during the same year, we lost three rangers through firefighting, vehicle accident and shark attack.
On 31 July let us pause for a moment to reflect on the courage and sacrifice that Rangers make by honouring Fallen Rangers and standing with Rangers who bravely undertake their role on the frontline.
What do Rangers do?
The roles and responsibilities of Park Rangers are very diverse and include management of terrestrial, marine and island parks; fire; wildlife; and visitor safety. Rangers working in Cooloola, face daily pressures of managing a conservation area which receives the highest visitation in Queensland.
It is very rare for any two days to be the same for a Park Ranger. The work can be unpredictable and often influenced by weather. One day you might be protecting heritage values or focused on conserving and managing natural resources by working on a planned burn, or by running weed and feral animal control programs. The next day you might be patrolling parks and upkeeping visitors’ facilities talking to park visitors, cleaning facilities, and making repairs to walking tracks.
Passions of a Ranger
As a child I spent much of my days exploring. My parents were a huge inspiration for anything outdoors and my grade six teacher taught me all things National Geographic, introducing me to shorebirds, gorillas, chimpanzees and Jane Goodall. I was hooked! I never thought I would be able to become a ranger-I just wanted to make a difference somehow. Everyone can make a difference by leaving no trace when they enter and leave a conservation area and helping to minimise their footprint on the planet.
Heres’ what motivates some Rangers based in the Cooloola Recreation Area:
|‘Coming here 40 years ago and hoping that it will still be the same for the next 40 years for the grandchildren to experience’
|‘Learning about the local area, plant species and helping contribute to making it a better place’
‘Check your info before you come (into the park)’
Volunteer Ranger Mark
|‘Best office in the world-outside in nature, getting to appreciate and protect it’ ‘When you are coming in (to the park), take a deep breath and appreciate. Be a bubblehead’
|‘I grew up on a river, so the environment has always been an integral part of my life. My uncle was a ranger and he encouraged me to follow that path.’
‘Mentoring younger rangers to continue to try and stay passionate and remember why they became rangers even though the public often disappoint you with their behaviour’ ‘Most people are more aware of the environment than ever-we just all need to work together to make sure that our daily impact is minimised. Every small act does count’
|‘Growing up outdoors was where I found my passion for nature conservation.’
‘I want to help preserve our natural world and educate the younger generations on the importance of protecting the delicate ecosystems which keep the planet healthy’
|‘I became a ranger, transferring from forestry, Tuan, years ago, to Rainbow Beach.
I like the environment, looking after the place, and want it to be here for my grandkids’
|‘Educate to protect our natural environment and why
we are here, what we are driving’Ranger Scott
|‘I wanted to make a difference, every little bit count’s, ‘Control the impact’
- What is the whale’s closest living relatives?
- Do turtles have tongues?
- The term Hyperphagia denotes what type of behaviour by birds in preparation for migration?
- Sandpipers and plovers are both commonly found in wetland habitats. How does the shape of the bill differ between these two groups?
- Sandpiper bills curl upward while plovers have straight bills
- Sandpipers have a slender bill where plovers have a shorter and thicker bill
- Sandpipers have yellow bills while plover’s bills have a variety of colours
- The bills look similar and are not helpful in telling these two groups apart
- What is the family name of the Minke whale?
Answers next issue!
Community Engagement Ranger QPWS