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ABOUT NATIONAL PARK RESCUE

Find out about National Park Rescue, the organisation's current rescue operation, it's main contacts and some Q&As about how we operate

WHAT DO WE DO?

With 60% of the planet's wildlife wiped out in 50 years, and many species facing imminent extinction, traditional conservation efforts have indisputably failed. The world now has a 10 year window to finally give wildlife the protection it deserves. National Park Rescue saves African National Parks on the brink of collapse using no-nonsense direct-action operations to restore effective law enforcement, shut down corruption and reconnect the surrounding communities key to a park's long term survival.



We urgently need to expand our successful operations to rescue more dying national parks, directly impacting the Species Extinction which - along with Global Warming - are the twenty-first century's greatest challenges.  But we can't do this without your backing.The future survival of wildlife lies not with wildlife charities but with you: the donors. YOU hold the power to send your money to effective or ineffective operators; to those protecting dying frontline national parks or low-risk reserves; to highly-organised direct-action teams, or office-based NGO teams. As donors, these and other choices are your power and the choices you make will determine the survival of the planet's last elephants, rhinos, lions and other species on the brink of extinction.


We are not a funder or intermediary; we are a frontline operator directly saving wildlife on the frontlines in Africa.  As such, every dollar send us DIRECTLY funds the survival of elephants, rhinos, lions and other wildlife, which would otherwise be slaughtered at the hands of violent poachers.  Tragically, whilst well meaning, the mega-charities continue to pour billions of valuable donor dollars into naive, academic-led programs across the continent, while species spiral toward extinction.  Instead of creating robust security for wildlife, the industry continues to waste urgently-needed funds on five-star conferences; endless reports; the naive training of corrupt rangers; corruption-fuelling allowance-systems; luxury travel and accommodation; prestigious national and international offices; and networks of overpaid, ineffective managers. The massive annual cost of this 'industry' is taken from your donations to save wildlife, leaving very little to reach the rangers actually saving wildlife.

National Park Rescue is part of a small group of organisations disrupting the status quo and creating big results on small budgets by doing things differently.


Not always. Wildlife needs a level of security proportional to the threat. There are two main categories of poacher: unarmed ‘subsistence poachers’ who typically deploy snares targeting smaller animals such as antelopes, potentially motivated to break the law because of poverty. The second type is armed ‘high-value’ or ‘professional poachers’, who could be part of terrorist groups using ivory to fund terror, or part of criminal wildlife trafficking networks. Professional poachers are often well-funded, equipped and trained and ready to shoot anyone who stands between them and their target (typically elephants or rhinos). Professional poachers are a lethal threat to rangers and African communities alike. Frontline national parks which have lost huge numbers of wildlife to professional poachers have suffered a breakdown of effective security, potentially through a lack of resources, corruption, incompetence or other reasons. The rapid restoration of effective security is critical to the survival of wildlife in these national parks. In non-frontline protected areas where wildlife is largely lost to snaring by subsistence poachers, a range of passive, academic-led solutions can be effective, but the two should not be confused. National Park Rescue only assists frontline parks suffering the severe impacts of professional poaching.

With 60% of the planet’s wildlife wiped out in 50 years, and many species facing imminent extinction, traditional conservation efforts have indisputably failed. The world now has a 10 year window to finally give wildlife the protection it deserves. National Park Rescue saves African National Parks on the brink of collapse using no-nonsense direct action operations to restore effective law enforcement, shut down corruption and reconnect the surrounding communities key to a park’s long term survival.

LATEST RESCUE OPERATION: LIVE

OPERATION CK: ZIMBABWE

 Our teams are live inside one of Africa’s most-troubled protected areas.  Zimbabwe’s 2,000 square kilometre Chizarira National Park lost thousands of elephants and other wildlife to poaching, prior to the start of the operation.  According to the latest independent survey, poaching indicators have reduced by over 90% since our operation began, and the park has undergone a massive transformation.  The remarkable story of Operation Christina Knudsen is the subject of a coming documentary.   

OPERATION CK STAFF: 30

Our rescue operations work with local governments to restore wildlife security to major national parks which have suffered severe poaching and the loss of thousands of elephants.  Our brave and passionate teams place their own lives at risk, living inside Africa’s most-poached national parks with the aim of removing armed poachers and helping governments restore them.

SENIOR OPERATION STAFF

Picture of Mark Hiley

Mark Hiley

Tiger Rank
Operation OC

Alex Ncube

Eagle Rank
Operation 2IC

National Park Rescue Ranger Makamba ‘Brown’ Murambiwa

‘Brown’ Murambiwa

Jackal Rank
Field Division

National Park Rescue Ranger - Vusani Shoko

Vusani Shoko

Wildcat Rank
Field Division

Adam Siabula

Jackal Rank
Logistics Division

National Park Rescue ranger card

BRAVERY & DEDICATION

 Unlike most soldiers or police officers, rangers have to go to work against a potentially armed and dangerous enemy EVERY SINGLE DAY.  We give National Park Rescue rangers, and the local government rangers who work alongside us, the highest standards of training available, yet the job remains one of the most dangerous in the world.  Sadly, the severe lack of funding getting to effective national park security means that the odds are stacked against us and many thousands of rangers have died  defending wildlife with little or no recognition and no medals for bravery. To support National Park Rescue is to support a level of bravery and dedication unimaginable in most forces across the world.

HOW WE'RE ORGANISED

The places where wildlife most needs protecting are hostile environments where the failure to follow orders regularly results in the loss of life. Professional poachers are often well-funded and trained, heavily-armed and just as ready to kill rangers as elephants.  We replace military titles with our own animal-based hierarchy but our ability to rapidly eradicate violent poaching is partly the product of a highly organised, professional command structure, headed by our Cobra team.

National Park Rescue ranks

SENIOR CONTACTS

Picture of Kamran Mahdavi. Cobra rank

Kamran Mahdavi

Executive Director

Kamran Mahdavi

Kamran has worked all over Africa in a number of industries, prior to joining National Park Rescue as its Executive Director.  Having successfully built and exited from a number of businesses, Kamran heads our development and is spearheading efforts to multiply the number of National Parks the organisation is able to rescue simultaneously.  He has a fear of spiders and his most memorable moments range from being "chased" by a black widow at our  Malawi operation, to being "attacked" by a camel spider at our operation in Zimbabwe.

Kamran donates his salary back to NPR.
Dr Niall McCann of National Park Rescue in Zimbabwe

Dr Niall McCann

Conservation Director

Dr Niall McCann

Niall is an accomplished National Geographic Explorer, Biologist and award-winning TV presenter. As NPR’s Conservation Director, in addition to law enforcement, Niall focuses on environmental lobbying, defining NPR’s future strategy: finding dying parks and negotiating with governments and backers to change the course of history. He has worked in protected area law enforcement all over the world and his most-memorable moments range from being charged by a tiger in Nepal to being in a Mexican standoff in Honduras. Niall oversees all rescue operations and divides his time between the UK and African operations.
picture of Mark Hiley

Mark Hiley

Operation Director

Mark Hiley

Mark founded National Park Rescue in 2014 but specialises in managing the Ranger Force, Logistics and Operations teams, to restore law enforcement in Africa's most troubled frontline hotspots.  He has worked as a National Park Ranger, Trainer and undercover operative, working in National Parks in five African countries since the 90s, save for a 10 year break in TV. His memorable moments include crash-landing in a war-plane with 4 black rhinos onboard during a translocation, and being appointed the country's first Honorary Ranger by the Malawi Government in 2014.  He is currently heading Operation CK in Zimbabwe.

Regan Hall

Media Director

Regan Hall

An internationally renowned filmmaker, Regan’s successful career has seen him work all over the world often with a famous celebrity in front of the camera. Adventures have included narrowly escaping drowning in the Pacific Ocean, and being held at gunpoint by Jordanian secret police. Born and raised in New Zealand, he learnt about wildlife conservation from a young age. He works pro-bono for NPR, focusing on our social media and press engagement. 
Picture of Pieter van Hassalt

Pieter van Hasselt

Development Director

Pieter van Hasselt

Pieter is a Major Backer and an active Cobra member, focusing on the organisation's development. He has a background in Physics and Finance and spent time both in academia and business. He has sponsored various projects over the years, in particular through his parents’ work in Southern Africa.  His most-memorable moments range from preventing a suicide on the German Autobahn to celebrating with the children of the School of the Deaf in Botswana.

Pieter donates his salary back to NPR.

A HIGHLY-EFFECTIVE MODEL

Some National Parks are the size of small countries, with a community of rangers and park staff within its borders, and multiple surrounding communities, often consisting of thousands of people, living just beyond its borders.  We see it all as a single eco-system with co-dependent parts, each of which can not exist effectively without the other.  People and wildlife must benefit from one another and learn to co-exist together.  At the core of our system is a fundamental belief that local people should be empowered to save their own natural heritage.  Our success proves beyond doubt: it works.

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