Challenging working conditions, dangerous animals, the risk of injury, life-threatening diseases – these are just some of the perils that wildlife rangers face on a daily basis as they work to protect the world's wild species and spaces. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost all industries globally, the tourism sector has been hard hit and revenue crucial to conservation has dried up. "Unfortunately, it has been an exceptionally difficult time for people around the world, with rangers, no exception," Chris Galliers president of the International Ranger Federation explained in a Facebook video. "We have recorded over 500 ranger deaths as a result of the global pandemic. World Ranger Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate the lives of those passed."

World Ranger Day (July 31) is a chance to pay tribute to the sacrifices of some and the dedication of all. Image © Ami Vitale

In addition to the significant effects of a global pandemic, in the last eleven months, 120 wildlife rangers have lost their lives in the line of duty. World Ranger Day (July 31) is a chance to pay tribute to the sacrifices of some and the dedication of all. To commemorate the men and women who have been killed or injured in the line of duty in various locations across the glove, and to celebrate the incredible work rangers carry out to safeguard the world's natural and cultural heritage, the organisers of the Global Biodiversity Festival are hosting a 24-hour virtual event featuring an array of speakers who will share their stories and lives from the conservation frontlines.


"This virtual festival has a simple goal, celebrating incredible men and women, doing incredible things around the world, day in and day out," the festival organisers explain on their website. The line-up includes rangers, conservationists, wildlife veterinarians, photographers, filmmakers and educators from a diversity of backgrounds. Registration is free, but donations are encouraged to aid in ensuring that rangers are sufficiently supported in their highly skilled and often-dangerous roles as protectors of the globe's flora and fauna.

To register for the event visit the Global Biodiversity Festival website.

Header image: Nick Castle