Anti-Poaching Units and Rangers Upgraded with Specialized Training Thanks to Jacaranda 94.2

Jacaranda 94.2 joined the fight against the ruthless poaching of rhinos in 2010. In 2011, the station remains resolute in not only supplying and upgrading anti-poaching equipment where it’s most needed, but now also making sure that officials are kitted with top-notch knowhow!

In October 2010 Jacaranda 94.2 held a phenomenally successful Rhino telethon, with the emphasis on protecting large rhino herds in Provincial Parks within the Jacaranda footprint. The response from the Jacaranda listeners was overwhelming and their heart-felt contributions amounted to well over a million rand’s worth!

As a direct result, Jacaranda 94.2 has been able to make several donations of camping equipment, cars, radio system, GPS’s, cameras, computers and more to both regional parks (North West Parks, Mpumulanga Parks, Limpop Parks), SAN Parks, and other rhino conservation organisations, including EWT & the Trackers & The Living Museum.

Whilst these efforts continue, this drive is kicking into the next gear: Field rangers in rhino poaching hotspots will soon embark on 6 weeks of specialized training, which will be provided by Li Lotriet & the team at Quemic Wildlife Security Services. This training includes highly specialized tactics and techniques that will assist in providing better protection for rhino.

These individuals and units were selected by a skilled committee that was appointed shortly after Jacaranda 94.2’s Rhinothon. The committee evaluated all funding proposals and performed a thorough needs analysis on what is required & how Jacaranda 94.2 and its listeners could best make a difference.

The anti poaching units that will be going on the training were selected from North West Parks, Mpumalanga Parks & Limpopo Parks – individuals who are in the front lines of ensuring that all our big rhino populations are protected and well taken care of.

However, it doesn’t end there. Not only will these teams be trained by the best in the business, they’ll also be supplied a full kit of what is needed, to implement this protection when back in their respective parks. The kits include tents, camping equipment, GPS’s, binoculars, suits, you name it.

Elise de Villiers from who has been supporting Jacaranda 94.2’s efforts, , says that “field rangers and anti-poaching personnel that have received specialised training and are properly equipped form the first line of defence, both proactive and reactive, on any rhino reserve. She continues: “By investing in their skills – thanks to heartfelt donations from the public – we’re not only equipping them to perform effectively, we’re also boosting morale. We are motivating them on a personal level to do their level best and are showing them how critically important their role is in ensuring that rhino are around for generations to come.”

Johnson Maoka, Regional Manager of North West Parks, adds that “advanced counter poaching training is the key to take the war to the poachers against the unrelenting onslaught on rhino, as it will equip the field rangers with a variety of bush and technical skills to match, and beat, those of the poachers.”

Jenny Griesel, Spokesperson for Jacaranda 94.2, says: “The fight is a long way from over, and Jacaranda 94.2 remains absolutely committed to preserving these wonderful creatures for many years to come. Had it not been for the passionate, collective support from our listeners, we would probably not have been able to join the fight for a cause that is very close to the Jacaranda 94.2-heart. The biggest ‘thank you’ we have to offer, is by KEEPING AT IT – The Jacaranda 94.2-way!”

To keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in rhinoland, Listen to the Rhino files on Jacaranda 94.2 on Tuesdays at 13h40 with Barney Simon, and Thursday s at 16h40 with Martin Bester.