Rise in park ranger numbers supports park visitation through pandemic

Monday 03 August 2020

MEDIA RELEASE

Today is World Ranger Day and the perfect time to celebrate South Australia’s park rangers and the now full suite of them supporting peak visitation to the state’s parks.

South Australia has reached strong numbers of park rangers, with 138 rangers on-ground to support visitor experiences, care for the state’s parks and wildlife and adapt visitor experiences during the coronavirus pandemic.

This is the delivery of a Marshall Liberal Government election commitment to increase the total number of park rangers by 20 positions by 2021 - a boost of more than 20 per cent. Park ranger numbers started at 93 in early 2018.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the trend of social distancing in our state’s beautiful national parks has seen an increase in visitor numbers over the past few months.

“South Australians are very keen to get out and about, and we are seeing a 50 per cent increase in visitor numbers to national parks over the last few months compared to previous years,” Minister Speirs said.

“The State Government’s full suite of 138 park rangers today – around a 50 per cent increase in rangers since early 2018 - have been essential to support the growing number of visitors to our state’s parks during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The former Labor Government gutted our state’s ranger service and we are committed to putting more people at the frontline of national park protection.

“Park rangers are at the forefront of conservation in South Australia and the parks that they look after provide a critical refuge for South Australians, given their abundant space for social distancing.

“Our park ranger workforce today and increase in park visitation recently demonstrates the State Government's focus on improving park visitor experiences and the protection of South Australia's environment.”

World Ranger Day celebrates the work rangers do on the ground to protect natural and cultural heritage, as well as other operational and environmental educational efforts.

To find out more about visiting South Australia’s iconic parks visit: www.parks.sa.gov.au