“A few years ago, I came across an article about the first Georgian ranger woman who works at the high mountainous National Park of Tusheti. I saw her picture, mounted on horseback, and I thought, wow, this is so super cool, I want to be like her.”
Lucine made her dream come true in July 2018. “When I entered the Administration of the Protected Areas to pass the ranger’s exams, there were only men in the waiting room. I thought – no way I am getting through. The member of the commission asked me if I considered myself strong enough to walk the wilderness and run after poachers. I said it was my dream job. And, well, I got it!” - remembers Lusine.
Her colleague, Dato, was slightly bewildered when he found out that a young woman was going to be his counterpart. “I do remember myself thinking – a woman ranger? How is she going to manage? But very soon she proved all the doubts wrong. She is an excellent professional, and people here have a lot of respect for her,” says Dato.
Natural reserves and protected areas of Georgia cover over half a million hectares, about 9 percent of the country’s territory. The urgent need for protection of declining local biodiversity and the growing popularity of tourism in Georgia make the rangers’ job particularly important.