The LEAD Ranger program re-builds management skills in the conservation industry by developing anti-poaching instructors and leaders who remain based in the ecosystems they are intended to benefit. We provide them with long term support in the form of the lesson materials, mentoring and refresher courses.

Instilling a culture of competence, learning and leadership through existing and expanding networks of well-established conservation organisations. 44 Instructors have been trained so far, that have a training reach of over 1100 rangers within their organisations. These 1100 rangers protect 14 million acres of African wilderness. Subjects taught include Ranger Life Saver, which has been proven effective in saving lives within a very short period, Patrolling, Forensic Awareness, Firefighting, Communication, Human Rights, and any other subject needed for professional, effective and safe operations. We can support ranger operations and success without having overall management of areas. 

LEAD Ranger clients to date include: Kenyan Wildlife Service, Ugandan Wildlife Authority, International Anti-Poaching Foundation (Akashinga), Big Life Foundation (Kenya & Tanzania), Sheldreck Wildlife Trust, Mount Kenya Trust, Tsavo Trust, Rhino Fund Uganda, Wildlife Works, SORALO, Mara Elephant Project and Kijabe Forest Trust. 

The program is a collabourative initiative between the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, The Thin Green Line Foundation and Ranger Campus. The Kenyan training centre is based at Wildlife Works in the Kasigau Corridor of Kenya’s Tsavo National Park. 

 GUIDING PRINCIPLES/ KEY POINTS:

  • Developing indigenous leaders which positively influence ecosystems, projects, organisations and staff towards long-term conservation success
  • Local instructors – they speak the language, know the people, the terrain and the problems.
  • Up-to-date and evidence-based curriculum – it’s no use training people in procedures or knowledge that is outdated or has been proven not to work.
  • Locally relevant curriculum – only train rangers in the subjects that they require in their area at their (predicted) threat level.
  • A quality standard – all training needs to adhere to a relevant quality standard for the content and lesson materials provided.

LEAD INSTRUCTOR: A LEAD Instructor is Ranger or Scout that has the technical and instructional competencies to teach and mentor his peers in a specific subject. This subject is established in close consultation with his/her management and head of security and is in line with local requirements. Examples of these subjects are Ranger Life Saver, Arrest & Search, Air-to-Ground Communication, and Forensic Awareness.

LEAD Instructors are supported long-term with updated training aids and equipment, an extensive network of subject matter experts and an online resource base.

LEAD RANGER: LEAD Rangers are junior Rangers or Scouts that go through a rigorous leadership course, designed to advise, instruct, mentor and lead the Rangers or Scouts in their protected area on resilience, law enforcement and investigations. LEAD Ranger students are selected from the Skills Coaches that have built experience training and mentoring their peers, in close consultation with their management.

LEAD ADVISOR:  Advisors are senior Rangers or Scouts that fulfil an operational management role within their protected area. This development path is designed to minimise time away from the workspace. Through themed workshops, operational and distance mentoring and e-learning we support LEAD Advisors in their daily work. Emphasis is on unit welfare and resilience, leading complex enforcement and investigative operations, and directing and coaching the LEAD Rangers and Skills Coaches within their area.

2025 PROGRAM GOALS

  • Build/Deploy Team 2 & 3 (Francophone and Southern Africa [Zimbabwe]) 
  • The program has expanded to carry out a minimum of 10 instructor courses and one LEAD Instructor course a year, training up to 150 instructors a year.
  • By 2025 we expect to have trained (estimated) 400 instructors on top of the current ones
  • This would create training potential for thousands of rangers trained within a five-year period
  • The ranger training standards are being used by multiple ranger training organisations and recognised by an increasing number of conservation organisations.
  • Reach 50 organisations covering 10 countries and 20 million hectares by 2025