In many countries law enforcement rangers are frontline guardians responsible for the management, monitoring and protection of protected areas and wildlife species. To date, little research has been conducted on law enforcement rangers and their perceptions of stress. This exploratory study contributes to both the criminological and conservation literature by exploring an important human dimension often neglected in conservation science research: law enforcement rangers. Similar to previous research on police occupational stress, it is expected that law enforcement rangers experience stressors unique to their profession. Utilizing an ethnographic case study approach based on interviews and participant observation, this research examines ranger perceptions of occupational stress in a protected area in Uganda. Findings indicate that law enforcement rangers are exposed to various occupational/task-related, external, internal, and occupation-related personal strains. Results from the study have implications in understanding, reducing and preventing occupational stress in rangers, as well as in capacity building for park management.
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