Field guides as the driving force for wilderness conservation and sustainable game viewing

by Carolin Giarra

South Africa currently faces the challenge of managing their rich biodiversity facing the threat of increased environmental degradation. The threats are varied, complex and multi-faceted, where the threat posed by climate change is probably one of the most dangerous ones. As a result of climate change, temperatures have rapidly increased within the Kruger National Park region, which experienced the worst drought season recorded in 2016. Rising temperatures of between 2,5 and 3 degrees Celsius could lead to an approximate loss of 66 percent of all animal species in the Kruger National Park. National Parks are not able to avert this phenomenon from happening, therefore the implementation of mitigation and adaptation strategies is crucial.

The field guides and trackers, who are working in the environment and with the game viewing product every day are at the frontline of implementing suitable mitigation and adaptation strategies. The work of a field guide became more diverse and complex overtime, as they have to face new challenges each day and lead the way in conserving South Africa’s natural wonders. Whether they are battling wildfires, poachers, play an important role in rehabilitation of land and habitats or act as an educational force in wildlife conservation….