Poachers Beware! Elite Wildlife Ranger Team Graduates

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On October 16, 2013, Thailand’s new elite wildlife ranger team, the “King of Tigers” graduated. During the intensive 8 week course provided by FREELAND, the implementing partner of the USAID-funded ARREST Program (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking), participants studied how to combat crime against nature. The graduates are now tasked with enforcing Thailand’s laws pertaining to environmental crime including poaching, wildlife trafficking, illegal logging and marine offences such as illegal fishing. The King of Tigers is Thailand’s first elite rapid response team capable of addressing all crimes against nature. The rangers received tactical training in terrestrial and marine patrolling, investigation and also teaching techniques to ensure the sustainability of the unit. The participants also received a lecture from Mahidol University/Southeast Asia One Health University Network (SEAOHUN) on the risks of contracting zoonotic disease when handling wildlife. While there is still a long way to go to end environmental crime, this new elite team will show poachers and the world that Thailand is ready to stand up for and protect its amazing wildlife. With funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) and USAID, FREELAND supported Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) to implement this crucial training. The capacity building initiative was part of PROTECT (Protected-area Operational & Tactical Environment Conservation Training) which has now trained nearly 2,000 participants in Asia through the ARREST Program.

 

 

 

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