TRAINING COMMENCES FOR 30 NEW FIELD RANGERS

As one of the strategies to counter the increasing rhino poaching activities within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP), Parque Nacional do Limpopo (LNP) has commenced with the training of 30 new field rangers.

The training is being undertaken at the Park’s new Field Ranger and Training base in Mapai and is being supported by the South Africa Wildlife College which has extensive field ranger training experience across southern Africa. The training programme has been adopted by the Game Rangers Training Co-ordination Group as the standard adopted across Africa thereby ensuring the Parks’ field rangers are at the forefront of the best regional anti-poaching techniques.

The training also is being supported by selected senior Park Field Rangers and the Mozambican Police who have been commissioned to conduct the rifle skills training.
Following an application and interview process, 110 candidates were selected for the 1 week Field Ranger pre-selection phase which through rigorous drills reduced to the group to the best 40 candidates. These candidates are currently undertaking a 4 weeks Basics training course following which 30 field rangers will be selected for a 5 weeks tactical operations course with the best 6 candidates being selected for the final phase of 2 weeks Patrol Leaders course.

3 new vehicles, patrol and operational equipment and rifles are currently under procurement and will be mobilized in time for commencement of the units operations in early December. The 30 man unit will operate primarily in the western part of the Park along the border with the Kruger National Park and is expected to make a significant contribution to the GLTP regions anti-poaching operations..

30 NEW LM-5 RIFLES ARRIVE IN THE PARK

Following the receipt of 20 AKM rifles earlier in the year the Park’s 30 new LM-5 rifles arrived in the Park on Friday 18th October 2013. The selection of this type of rifles will ensure that they cannot be used in large game poaching should they ever fall into the wrong hands and are intended to complement the existing anti-poaching rifles and strategies.

In the year to date the Park has arrested 28 poachers and captured 14 rifles with over 4m Meticais (est  R1.3m) in fines being issued. The Park is currently working with the legal system to ensure fine payment or the alternative of imprisonment of arrested poachers.