Rangers play an indispensable role in maintaining balance between people and the natural world by protecting and managing protected and conserved areas. Despite occupying this key role, rangers are facing many challenges across organisational, occupational and personal fronts that hinder the delivery of their duties. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges and made the fight against the illegal killing of wildlife, illegal logging, illegal harvesting of non-timber forest products, encroachment, and other environmental crimes in protected and conserved areas even more difficult. 915 survey responses were generated from individual rangers from 60 countries in order to understand how they perceived the impact of COVID-19 on rangers and their work in protecting and conserving protected areas around the world. The findings indicate that different aspects of ranger work have been negatively impacted due to the pandemic and the associated actions of authorities and illegal actors. The study also reveals differing regional perceptions of the impact of the pandemic on protected and conserved areas and ranger work. The results of the survey, which provide useful insights into the challenges facing rangers during the current global crisis and indicate where actions may be required to mitigate an impending loss of biodiversity, are used to support four recommendations in the paper.