We appreciate any help or support you can provide towards our efforts to helping endangered species by supporting our projects in partnership with the Chipembere Rhino Foundation in South Africa, the Pygmy Elephant Project in Borneo and the United Kingdom Orangutan Appeal for Borneo, all of which can be found on our Projects Page.
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This Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species or RAGES is a Rotarian Action Group and operates in accordance with Rotary International policy but is not an agency of, or controlled by Rotary International.

I.  January 2018 CHAIR REPORT

G ‘ day

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all!

2018 is shaping up to be a very big year for me personally as I work toward July 1st and District Governor responsibilities.

I am not leaving RAGES, never will, however I need to give my District 9700 my full attention from now on.

We have a very good Board to keep up our work.  I am very happy to announce that RAGES Director Tom Tochterman will be our interim Chair for RAGES.  In Toronto at our AGM we will be voting for Chair of RAGES and other Board positions.

Welcome to the hot seat Tom I know that you will do a great job.  You have my full support and that of the RAGES Board.

RAGES Chair Tom L Tochterman and Julie Tochterman.


2017 was interesting to say the least for RAGES.

The Atlanta Convention was a highlight for me and we gathered many more members as a result.

Toronto 2018 is shaping up well for RAGES.  I will not be there as we have our hand over on June 30th which does not allow me anytime to get back in time to do the right thing by my District.  More on Toronto further into the newsletter.

We have now reached around 650 members it fluctuates as addresses change.  If your address does change please let me know as soon as you can, thanks.  We have a good base to draw on now.  I will write more on this opportunity that presents itself for RAGES.

The Board had a long discussion on our structure and we concluded that it way too early in our growth to change right now.  However I wish to thank Rachael Blair and Clari Nolet for all the wonderful ideas on what we can become in the future.

We must remember that a Rotarian Action Group is a catalyst between a club or District and a RAGES endorsed project, that is specifically for wildlife that are endangered.  We must also remember that we are all volunteers, the power of Rotary, and we work for the wildlife that need us.

RAGES Mission Statement:

“Our purpose is to mobilize Rotarians and provide global awareness and focused ACTION in the continuing struggle to preserve and protect endangered species. We will be supporting and promoting new and ongoing joint projects with Rotary and Rotaract clubs located in the areas of concern.

There will be changes in how we work and without change progress is impossible.  The RAGES Board will make the changes as we move into 2018 and beyond.

For my part I will be promoting RAGES wherever I go starting with San Diego in 7 days time!

All the very best to you all for 2018 and please maintain the RAGE!

John Glassford
Past RAGES Chair 2014 -2017

Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species
Rotary Club of Coolamon District 9700
New South Wales, Australia

P.S.  Messages from some of our newest members:



1.  David Caldwell

Rotary Club of Makati West District 3830 The Philippines

“I support marine life conservation and that includes protecting marine endangered species”.

2.  Raemonde Bezenar

Riverview Rotary Club District 5370 Canada

I am interest in finding out more information on joining RAGES.

I also emailed the Rotarian Action Group for endangered species inquiring on funding and raising awareness on the critically endangered mountain and lowland gorillas and their habitat.

I look forward to finding out more information on both.

thank you

3.  Ranjeev Shrestha

Rotary Club Dhulikhel District 3292 Nepal

In Nepal people are killing the endangered species for eating and fun purpose.  They do because they don’t have no conscious on it.

4.  Mohamed Tayub

Rotary Club Limbe District 9210 Malawi.

I am an avid lover of wildlife and currently Malawi is repopulating its national parks with endangered species. One example is the Liwonde national park through african parks received five cheetahs, one unfortunately was lost in the journey to the park. We have now received cheetahs in the park after 100 years. I would love to be apart of this action group!

Welcome to all of our new members!


If you do not set in motion a plan with specific goals one will never hit the target.  We need to look at how best we can work for our endangered species as Rotarians.  Our best way forward then is to look at the RAGES endorsed projects and how best to work with the clubs on the ground that are involved in this important work.

Our Directors Tom Tochterman, Debbie Mair, Jo Wilmot and Sue Sheward are involved with one or more of the projects that we have endorsed.  So in order to make things a lot easier I would like you to have your club or district become involved with one of the projects listed below:


With Dr. William Fowlds and Grant Fowlds involved you will not be disappointed in helping these two wonderful human beings who work so hard to save the rhinos in South Africa.


Go to their web site and see how they are saving the rhinos.

“We are very excited to share some news of the work we were involved in during September.

Chipembere Rhino Foundation has donated tracking collars for all 77 rhino that have been translocated to date as part of the Rhinos Without Borders.

This latest move of 40 Rhino was a proud moment in our journey in support of Rhinos Without Borders. Its been a privilege to work with the great team of people at andBeyond Travel, Great Plains Conservation, and Rhino Conservation Botswana.

Thank-you to our donors for making this contribution to Rhino conservation possible. 23 more Rhino to go to hit the 100 Rhino target!!!”


Our RAGES Director,  Sue Sheward MBE the UK Appeal’s Chairwoman and Founder, became involved with the plight of the orangutans in Borneo while on holiday there. Having seen the work of the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre initially as a tourist, and then having shown great interest, she was allowed further access and more information about the project and returned to the UK with the conviction that she would do something to help.

Sue got straight to work on her return from Borneo raising money from raffles, jumble sales and a charity racing car track day. Sue tirelessly dug at the pockets of countless people, and thanks to their generosity, managed to raise enough money to fund her first project.

After delicate negotiations with the Malaysian Government, the project was approved, and, they are proud to be the first Non Government Organisation (NGO) to have been accepted by them.

With her first project well and truly under her belt, and interest in the Appeal growing fast, plans were started for the next “project” and the journey began.

Baby Archie is now available to adopt!

Adopt Archie today. Help him on his journey back to the wild!

The Orangutan Appeal UK is a registered charity based in the south of England, dedicated to the rehabilitation and preservation of orangutans and the conservation of their habitat.The Appeal strives to protect remaining wild populations of orangutans by providing support and funding for projects across Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo; and by raising awareness of the plight of this great ape across the globe. The Appeal is also authorised to work on behalf of the famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre!




Now one of the many things that our new Chair Tom has done was to found a Non-Profit US based NGO Rhino Mercy, operating in South Africa since 2010. (endangered species protection, environmental research, and human/wildlife, conflict resolution).

Rhino Mercy encourages stakeholder participation in the establishment of anti-poaching programs.  In partnership with Transfrontier Africa, Rhino Mercy co-developed an effective wildlife security model that can be replicated by private game reserve managers throughout the Greater Kruger National Park.

Currently the partnership has established a multi-faceted anti-poaching strategy on the Balule Nature Reserve which includes, among other initiatives, the deployment of Environmental Monitors (Black Mamba APU) and a highly trained tactical response force (both lovingly referred to as “boots on the ground”).  For more information about the Black Mambas (first all female APU in the history of South Africa) please see the links below.



RAGES Director Debbie Mair Visits the Black Mambas.

RAGES Director Debbie Mair has just returned from South Africa and has been interviewed on New Zealand TV about her work in RAGES.  Debbie leaves us in July to further her University degree in ecology and biodiversity to better understand the importance of relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment.

We wish Debbie all the best in her future career and thank her for her service to RAGES.

Finally I have the video of the TVNZ live interview promoting Rotary and the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit project, supported by Endangered Species Protection – RAGES.Lelanie Trollip

Posted by Debbie Mair on Sunday, 3 December 2017


RAGES Director Debbie Mair visited South Africa last year and here is her report:
“Most of my time was spent observing 2 RAGES projects, Rhino Mercy and the Black Mambas operating in the Balule Nature Reserve.
Note, there is an additional project called SAME operating as the Sigagula Children’s Centre that needs assistance with a small donation to be ready for the 2018 school year.
It was a pleasure representing you all and I hope that we can move forward under Rotary’s focus areas with my recommendations.
I have some interest from TVNZ one news and the Breakfast Show who want to interview me regarding my involvement with the Black Mambas”.  Details to follow.

Debbie Mair
Plimmerton Rotary
RAGES Project Director of Southeast Asia



As you are well aware I believe that this project the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust we have one of the best conservation projects that we can support.

We have visited the elephant orphanage in Nairobi several times now.  We have met with Dame Daphne Sheldrick DBE and also head keeper Edwin.

Dame Daphne

Dame Daphne Sheldrick with her mates in Tsavo: 

Born from one family’s passion for Kenya and its wilderness, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is today the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa.

Founded in 1977 by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E, in honour of the memory of her late husband, famous naturalist and founding Warden of Tsavo East National Park, David Leslie William Sheldrick MBE, the DSWT claims a rich and deeply rooted family history in wildlife and conservation.

Dame Daphne 1

Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E. signs the RAGES Say NO Poster.

Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has many excellent projects including their Community Outreach programmes that we are keen to endorse and support.

For over a decade the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Community Outreach Programs have been vital in building sustainable relationships with the local communities bordering Kenya’s National Parks and wildlife protected areas.

These successful programs strive to improve living conditions and educational standards, encouraging communities and the next generation to protect their wildlife and environment.

For more information on this wonderful project visit:


This year, our hearts swelled with pride as we welcomed into the world not one, but five wild born calves!

Testament to the success of our field teams, each infant was born to a different wild living orphan who, in a show of absolute trust and affection for their former carers, all brought their babies back to meet the people that saved them. Watch to meet the newest (and youngest) members of our growing wild herd!


Today I hand over to our new Chair Tom Tochterman.  I wish Tom all the best and to all of you my thanks for staying the course so far.    We have plenty of work ahead of us and I ask anyone going to Toronto in June to help us in the RAGES booth.

I am committed to working for RAGES long after my duties as District Governor are over in July 2019.

All the best John.


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Email: [email protected]

Phone:  61 498 190 880  {61 is the code for Australia}.

Postal: 22 Moore Street, GANMAIN, NEW SOUTH WALES 2701, AUSTRALIA.