Mara Elephant Project’s rangers are the backbone of all of our successes in saving elephant lives. They are not only responsible for the protection of elephants from poachers, but also human-elephant conflict mitigation, intelligence gathering and community relations. MEP’s relationship with the local people in the Maasai Mara is key to the success of keeping the Mara safe and the ecosystem thriving. The key component of being a MEP ranger is that you must, at all times; endeavor to maintain good relations with the public.
A MEP ranger out on patrol.
MEP wants to reward our rangers for their good work. We do this in several ways; the first is with our Ranger of the Quarter award. At our most recent staff meeting in the middle of May, Ibrahim Funan won Ranger of the Quarter for his excellent leadership in the field.
Ranger of the Quarter accepting his award.
The second way to acknowledge exceptional work is to promote rangers within MEP. Much like the military, MEP rangers have a ranking system that encompasses all of the responsibilities MEP expects. The highest is MEP’s Senior Warden James Ekiru. He is responsible for the effective management of the security and wildlife operations of the area of operation. He has extensive knowledge of the Kenyan wildlife laws and police policies. His job is also to ensure close cooperation and good relations with the Kenya Wildlife Service, local police, any government partnerships and most importantly, community members.
Ekiru with MEP rangers going through old elephant collars to gather materials to later use.
Ekiru’s counterpart is our Tracking Manager Wilson Sairowua. Wilson’s role at MEP is all encompassing. He is tasked with tracking all 22 of MEP’s collared elephants and relaying their coordinates to MEP rangers in the field. He is tasked with keeping up with the near real-time alerts for elephants in danger or a failed collar. Additionally, he is now in charge of the backend data necessary to keep the USAID Wild app up to date with MEP ranger movements and various other data collected. Additionally, Wilson has taken a leading role in MEP’s school planting initiative, chili fence project and our upcoming unmanned aerial vehicle re-integration.
Wilson at our most recent tree planting project at Ngoswani School.
The Assistant Senior Warden is in charge of coordinating all security matters and day-to-day activities like preparing the daily patrol schedules, which at MEP is in the capable hands of John Leintoi Panda. We have a recently promoted Senior Sargent, Dickson Njapit, whose job it is to ensure and maintain ranger activities across all stations in the day-to-day running of the security and wildlife operations of the organization and develops a work schedule for any rangers in his charge. Our four Corporals are in charge of the day-to-day supervising of rangers within an outpost or patrol team. We added David Tobiko recently to our Corporals when he received his promotion from Private. They lead the patrol teams, communicate with HQ, and are responsible for their four and five man teams. Finally, MEP’s 28 “Privates” or rangers have the duty to promptly and willingly obey all lawful orders given to them by their seniors and must participate fully in day-to-day patrols in their area of operation, furnish human-elephant conflict response, make up the rapid response team, build chili fences, react to poaching reports, and communicate with community members.
MEP rangers in the field.
Your contributions through Amazon Smile go directly to outfitting MEP rangers in the field. Please consider buying them some essentials like socks, boots, tactical backpacks or binoculars.