Editorial: Ranger enforcement only effective way to stem poaching in PAs

OVER the past 20 years, chimpanzees, gorillas and other great apes have declined the most in areas lacking a security force to protect them. Conversely, parks and protected areas with armed guards and anti-poaching patrols — places like Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda — have not only retained their ape populations, but have seen population increases.

his connection extends beyond great apes. The Albertine Rift in Central Africa has over the past 50 years demonstrated the benefits of a close tie between law enforcement and the survival of diverse species. In Asia, the government’s training and deployment of park guards in Thailand’s most important reserve, the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, has led to seven years of population stability in tigers and other wildlife, in contrast to dramatic declines in nearby unprotected parks.

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