Training forest rangers to monitor wildlife

With support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FREELAND is providing a series of Data Collection Training Courses for rangers in the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex to help them better monitor wildlife and poaching threats in order to improve patrol planning for effective forest protection and keep tabs on the health of these World Heritage listed ecosystems.

The FREELAND-designed course includes theoretical classroom sessions covering navigation, data recording, wildlife and wildlife sign identification, as well as camera trapping skills; followed by a 2-day instructed forest patrol allowing rangers to practice their newly acquired skills in the forest.

The course also aims to develop participants’ understanding of why protected areas are important and why reporting must be standardized and consistent to ensure pertinent data can be extracted to create an accurate snapshot of patrol coverage, violations and wildlife in the park, as well as how that data can be used to guide more effective park management strategies.

On March 26, 2010, 25 rangers from Thap Lan National Park completed the first course. Several more courses are planned this year. FREELAND donates track identification cards, cameras and other equipment to enable rangers to continue collecting field data.

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