Kammanassie Youth Reaching New Heights

31 Jul 2022

World Ranger Day is celebrated annually on 31 July to highlight the work that rangers do. According to the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora, World Ranger Day is a time to pause, reflect and show our gratitude for the dedication and sacrifice of some of nature’s most devoted custodians. Rangers play a central and multifaceted role conserving some of the most vulnerable ecosystems on our planet.

Currently, 79 field rangers, including marine rangers, embrace their calling daily at CapeNature. One such field ranger is Brenden Jonas, who has been with the entity for the past nine years. He is 29 years of age and works at The Kammanassie Nature reserve. Brendan is an example of a youth that has benefitted and excelled at CapeNature. His excellence is closely related to him being a respectful person and willingness to assist and go the extra mile. He is a very focussed person and gives particular attention to the detail of each task. Brenden had the initiative to learn from other field rangers and gained valuable knowledge and insight from them. He has proven that when opportunity meets hard work the sky is the limit.

Field rangers contribute to multiple work areas within our entity that are of immense value. One such area is biodiversity data collection which is critical and provides an accurate picture in determining the state of our biodiversity within our conservation estate. The information collected assists in making crucial management decisions regarding the well-being of our biodiversity. In applying biodiversity data in his area, Brenden contributed to developing the Cape Mountain zebra monitoring tool, the Cape Mountain zebra identikit, used for animal monitoring.

The Kammanassie Nature Reserve in the Karoo is known for hosting one of the last relic population groups of the Cape Mountain zebra. Hence, the significance of conserving and protecting them. This species has a unique gene pool compared to other Cape Mountain zebras in Western Cape. In order to assist with the Cape Mountain zebra, Brenden has negotiated and established relationships with neighbouring landowners.

Environmental awareness is another work area that plays a fundamental role within CapeNature carried out by field rangers. Field rangers are instrumental in conservation because they link the theoretical knowledge to real-life experiences by demonstrating that to learners and communities. Brenden also plays a vital part in assisting with environmental awareness activities informing learners and the youth about environmental concerns and how to live a sustainable life.

Although Brenden does not hold a formal qualification in Nature Conservation, as one of the experienced field rangers, he has contributed a lot to the career pathing of other young people in Uniondale and the surrounding towns. He has achieved this through Career expos at local schools, where matric students are given good guidance of nature conservation as a career. Part of his career pathing responsibilities is to train newly appointed Expanded Public Works Program field rangers at Kammanassie, assists them to becoming field rangers like him one day.

Field rangers, including marine rangers are invaluable assets whose contribution is highly valued, and CapeNature salutes them this World Ranger Day.

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