Combating Poaching and Illegal Logging in Tanzania: Voices of the Rangers-Hands-on Experiences from the Field


As for means of communication, there is urgent demand for secure push-to-talk radio units in the park ranger and Anti- Poaching Units. The patrolling and enforcement areas are vast, and the rangers face huge challenges in doing their job because they are unable to communicate between sections in the bush or back to headquarters administrating the operations. Professional and/or pre-funded poachers are typically better equipped than rangers, and sometimes even able to listen in to the rangers’ unencrypted radio communication. In June 2015, Kenyan wildlife officers launched a secure radio system in their battle to protect elephants and rhinos, aiming to outwit poachers who listen in on wardens’ communications. The purchase was partly funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, and is expected to function as a vital tool in the battle against poachers. Former poachers should be used in an information campaign to demonstrate the impact of poaching on local communities. This should emphasize the relative accessibility of income from illegal activities compared with legal alternative livelihoods. Although the emphasis in this report has been on the supply side, the other stages in the illegal wildlife trade chain remain critical, whether training at airports and ports, such as that conducted by the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme, or demand-reduction efforts in consumer countries. 7 8

Initiate follow-up training programmes for the rangers already trained in tracking and crime-scene management. They need refresher training and more skills in patrol drills and long-range tracking. Ensure that the institutes training the rangers focus on first aid and survival skills in the training programmes, as skills in these highly important matters could be significantly improved. 4 The same applies to map reading and navigation. Few of the rangers have sufficient skills and overall maps are lacking, despite being absolutely essential for planning and patrols. These are vital for intelligence, coordination, planning and the execution of law enforcement. Equipment the rangers/game wardens/APU officers lack and need: • maps • compasses • radios • belt-rigs with water bottles and pouches • good knives In addition, there is a general lack of GPS devices and cameras. The rangers often split up during patrols and pursue poachers in smaller sections, but normally there is only one set of this equipment in the teams. 6 5


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