Park rangers recognised on World Ranger Day
THIS week, critical and enduring conservation work of park rangers was recognised on World Ranger Day.
Rangers have been working throughout Victoria in various forms since the 1890s, when the state’s first national parks were established.
Today, Parks Victoria rangers and field service officers care for 4.1 million hectares of mountains, deserts, forests and coastline – an area about the size of Switzerland: this includes the significant Alpine National Park and Mount Buffalo National Park.
They also care for 13 national marine parks and 11 marine sanctuaries that support more than 12,000 species of plants and animals, 90 per cent of which are found nowhere else in the world.
“Our rangers work throughout Victoria to protect our environment, our communities, and unique fauna and flora so that they remain healthy for our current and future generations,” Parks Victoria chief executive officer Matthew Jackson said.
International Ranger Federation president Sean Willmore also paid tribute to our local rangers.
“This is a special day for park rangers around the world, recognising their work and the risks they take each and every day in service of nature, conservation and life itself,” he said.
“I’d like to congratulate Parks Victoria’s rangers, and the Association of Rangers and Conservationists Victoria, for supporting their international colleagues, and for the fantastic work they do locally within that global context, to conserve their state’s natural treasures.”
Each day is different for a Parks Victoria ranger.
Their work includes: protecting parks, oceans, plants and animals from pests and pollution; maintaining thousands of kilometres of roads, tracks and trails, and campgrounds, toilets and visitor facilities; working with local community, research and volunteer groups; helping lost and injured people; and responding to bushfire and emergency situations.
Last year, Parks Victoria rangers welcomed more than 100 million visits to more than 180 parks and reserves; treated more than one million hectares of land to control pest plants and animals; and responded to nearly 200 lost or injured park visitors.
As nature-based visitation has grown, and the size and challenges of the land being managed has increased, so too has the number of rangers.
Parks Victoria now employs more than 400 rangers, including 40 Aboriginal rangers who provide invaluable traditional knowledge on keeping parks and reserves healthy and resilient.
Internationally, World Ranger Day commemorates rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and celebrates their work to protect the planet’s natural treasures and cultural heritage.
ON DUTY: Ranger Meaghan Raymond in the Alpine National Park.