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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RAGES Bulletin #22 April/May 2017

RAG-EndangeredSpecies_Standard logo (3)

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.  April/May 2017 CHAIR REPORT

G ‘ day

Welcome to our new members and we look forward to working with you all.

The past two months have been kind of busy with the upcoming RI Convention in Atlanta.  I will be preparing a special news item from Atlanta and will upload to the RAGES Facebook page and our RAGES web site.

We have some special people volunteering to help on the RAGES booth and I will write more on this during the convention.

Our booth number is 2821 in the House of Friendship.  So those going to Atlanta please join us there.  We will be in the Rotarian Action Group section.

Other news is that we have been allocated a RAGES Break Out session by Rotary at the Atlanta Convention.

Day Monday 12th June.

Time 4-5pm in Room B306

Title “Extinction is Forever”

Speakers Dr. Tom Tochterman RAGES Director Human/Wildlife Conflict and DGN John Glassford RAGES Chair

Moderator PDG Barbara Shayeb-Helou.

We will highlight our RAGES endorsed projects during this break out session.

Rachael Blair from the e-Club of Houston will be showcasing the art work that Rachael has had prepared for RAGES and will be a highlight for our booth.

Most important news from our RAGES Director SE Asia Elephants, Debbie needs help for the pygmy elephant orphans in Borneo and a story follows in the news section.

We have now reached 411 members which for a Rotarian Action Group is well above average.  Keep asking and keep promoting RAGES.  We have a power point presentation available if you would like one to present to your club and clubs in your district.  Just email me.

There will be 5 RAGES Board members in Atlanta and we will have a meeting to discuss our next stage in our development.   We have a good base now to build on for the future.  We will need to ramp up our  work and this will require some funds for administration costs.  To date we as board members have covered all of our costs. In the main printing, banners, brochures, web hosting and such.

Most Rotarian Action Groups charge a membership fee either annually, life or simple donations.  There are now 27 RAGs and we are one of 4 that do not charge a membership fee.

We look forward to meeting some of you in Atlanta.

Our Patron Dr. Jane Dame Jane Goodall will be in Australia:

This June, I’m returning to Australia! Join me in an exploration of global issues like environmental sustainability and wildlife conservation, along with stories of hope and compassion, and how we can each do something to make a difference, every day. I would love to see you there – book tickets at: BOOK HERE

Finally here are some of the amazing art works produced by Rachael Blair a RAGES member and a Rotarian from the Rotary e-club of Houston.  Thank you so much Rachael.  They will be a big hit on our booth in Atlanta.

The idea is to have delegates colour in the zangtangles in the booth.  Debbie has already done some remarkable work in schools in New Zealand and I will post the stories on our web site.



Yours in Rotary
DGN John Glassford
RAGES Chair 2014 -2017

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

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



Jenny Glover Scotland: I am incoming president for the Portobello group and wish to raise awareness of endangered species – and although I don’t want to live in a world without elephants, there are less visible, less glamorous endangered species (Edinburgh Zoo does a lot of work with this subject).

 Oscar Trasvina Mexico: I’m a Biologist 5 year bachelor degree and 1 yr thesis on Iguana iguana (Green Iguana)

Virginia Woolf New Zealand:  I am the founder of New Zealanders for Endangered Wildlife (refer FB page) and have been actively involved in wildlife issues for the past 5 or so years. In 2015, I went to Africa for the first time and went on safari in Kenya for 4 weeks. I have also been the Auckland co-coordinator for the global march movement since 2014 to raise public awareness about the plight particularly of elephants, rhinos and lions………..

Jacqui Molyneux England: I am a veterinarian so this action group is close to my heart. I am also DGN for my district. I would like to be involved more.

Eveline Sibindi van Dam Malawi:  Dear Rotarians, I am since 3 years an active member of the Rotary Club of Lilongwe, Malawi. Besides my Rotary work I am the chair person of the Lilongwe SPCA. At the LSPCA we run our own clinic and run programs with farm animals, donkeys, prosecution, road side sale of animals, abattoirs and much more. My husband is a conservationist, a snake specialist, honorary ranger and volunteers in several National Parks in Malawi. We have a very small Black Rhino population in Malawi and last year over 500 elephants were moved in order to protect their future. Thank you very much for starting this important group, and I hope I am able to make a contribution! YIRS, Eveline.




JUNE 10-14 2017

Georgia World Congress Centre ATLANTA

RAGES will be in Atlanta for the Rotary International Convention RICON 2017!

RAGES Booth # 2821 in the House of Friendship.

We need any of our members going to the RI Atlanta Convention to come visit our booth and volunteer a couple of hours manning the booth.  This way fellow Rotarians and Rotaractors will get to meet and know you.


Debbie Mair writes from New Zealand:

“Hi John,

I have spoken to the Fonterra Global Sponsorship Manager to try and give him a better understanding of Rotary and how RAGES fits in.

I explained that Rotary is a humanitarian organisation and that we are governed by values and transparent.  He now understands the difficulty for RAGES to deliver milk powder to animal orphans worldwide and that Rotary cannot pay for this, we have to fund raise separately.  He has donated $5,000 as a raffle prize to raise funds to purchase milk powder for the Sepilok Orphan Elephants.”

Debbie continues: “Fonterra are very interested in combining our colouring-in challenge with their milk program throughout NZ.  Their future goal/aim is to provide free milk into all hospitals.  Fonterra wondered whether Rotary would work collaboratively with them and I have been invited to Auckland to discuss further options.  DGE Mitchell Brown is happy to go with me to Fonterra………”

Debbie is doing some amazing work for the survival of these orphan pygmy elephants:

These T Shirts are available from Debbie as follows:

Fundraising V-neck Tees for the RAGES orphan elephant projects. Contact Deb to order your design and size:
email [email protected]Mens sizes: small – 4XL Ladies sizes: 8-20 If in doubt, go for the next size up.

So we have a project for you to support in your club or district just contact us  and we will help with promotion through our web site and Facebook page.



Sue Sheward M.B.E. RAGES Director Primates writes:

There is some hope for orphaned babies, Sepilok rehabilitation centres Borneo has the mission to save orphaned and displaced orangutans and get them returned to the rain forest where they belong. An orangutan baby will normally live with their mother for the first 6-7 years of their life and learn from them, the ways of the rain forest, the work in the rehabilitation centre is very time consuming and very expensive as it is so important to get right.

OAUK supports the work of the Sepiloc Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, SORC which rescue, rehabilitate and release orphaned and displaced orangutans. The Centre is home to 20 orangutans, however there are many more who lived in the 43 square kilometres of protected rain forest, known as the Kabili reserve, which surrounds the centre.  Over 700 orangutans have passed through the centre since it was established in 1964.

There is an intensive rehabilitation programme for the orangutans who find themselves orphaned.  The process of teaching them to live independently can take many years and is dependent on how long they spent with their mothers.  Dedicated care staff work tirelessly to teach the necessary skills for a life in the wild.   Starting in the ‘indoor nursery they start to gain confidence, independence and climbing skills, often ‘buddying up’ with an older, more experienced orangutan.  They then progress to the outdoor nursery where they mix with older orangutans and others who live freely in the reserve.  Here they gain more independence, develop their climbing and nest building, and gain an understanding of social hierarchies.   Many of the orangutans in outdoor nursery spend nights out in the forest.  Once this happens the staff begin to prepare them for a full release into the reserve”.

Once your Rotary Club or District donates our RAGES endorsed project your club or district will qualify to be a business partner and receive special privileges.

By becoming an Orangutan Appeal UK Business Partner, you will befriend thousands of our supporters. The plight of the orangutan has global appeal, and we have a worldwide network of people that you would be able to access, including:

Over 16,000 supporters worldwide

Being a thriving tourist destination, Sepilok has over 8,800 visitors every month.

We have various social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and our website.

We have traffic to our website of approximately 38,000 per yr

72% are New visitors and 28% are return users

We have a quarterly mail shot that goes out to between 12-14,000 people

We have a bi-annual newsletter which is sent to around 6,500 people

Contact:  Orangutan Appeal UK.



Jo Wilmot or RAGES South Africa Director writes from Kenton-on-Sea South Africa:

Dear John

Hope you and Susan are well J  Such a surprise to read about the arrival of Colin, Thandi’s second calf! What a lovely way to kick off 2017 for our rhinos and our friends at Kariega Game Reserve.

Attached, please find an update on Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF), their ongoing projects and some highlights from 2016 that include, under the umbrella of RAGES, the arrival of Shamwari Game reserve’s newest Anti-Poaching Unit member, K9 BLADE, who was part-Rotary funded in 2015 by clubs, Kenton-on-Sea and Port Alfred along with the Port Alfred High School InterAct Club; as well as the rations drive for five of our Eastern Cape reserves and one national park’s anti-poaching units by the Kenton Primary EarlyAct Club and Port Alfred High School Interact Club.

Our current Rotary RHINO focus, is to try and forge ahead with our fundraising project for Sibuya Game Reserve that was started in 2016:

Following the poaching of their bull, Bingo, and the two cows in March 2016, the Kenton Rotary Club responded with a donation of R24,000 to help Sibuya. We approached Brent from CRF who liaised with Sibuya and together, they identified CRF’s K9 programme as the way forward to help protect their remaining rhino. Both a K9 and a suitable handler have been since identified and training is underway.

The costs to CRF is expected to be in the region of R75,000 and we have undertaken to help CRF as much as we can with the balance (R51,000). I am hoping to put together some images and footage of Sibuya and the K9 in training to share with other clubs in our district and friends & clubs from RAGES in the hope that we can get some funding assistance. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a ALL-Rotary funded K9 join our friends at Sibuya Game Reserve to help protect Bingo’s offspring, orphan Binky, and her friends…!

Chipembere News

You can support Chipembere here:



This is Bingo whom we met in Sibuya in May 2015

Bingo was poached.


Garry Sundin, a good friend of RAGES, writes:

“Hi John & Deb,

Happy New Year and I trust that all is well with yo both. Its been a while since we have made contact and unfortunately last year we were not able to get anything to happen with yourselves and RAGES in connection with our TBC event, which by the way ended up raising a very creditable $25,000 for the orangutans.

So I wanted to touch base with you briefly now and let you know about our 2 main fundraising event for this year. One in Sumatra and One in Borneo.

Sumatra – Last Place on Earth Challenge in August 2017. lastplaceonearthchallenge.com . We currently have 6 people signed up and quite a few enquiries. As you are no doubt aware this is probably the biggest environmental issues facing Indonesia and needs a lot of support.

Borneo – Trans Borneo Challenge in November 2017. transborneochallenge.com. Currently 2 people signed up and a new itinerary has been made to take out the very difficult trek section and allow people of all fitness levels to participate.

I would really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to check out both the event websites and let me know if it’s possible to join forces in some way to help either one or both of them. I am happy to send you additional information as needed about either event or call you to discuss options that may be possible. Anything you can do to assist and or promote the events would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for taking to time to consider these events and look forward to hearing from you both and hearing your thoughts.

Best regards,


Garry Sundin
Expedition Manager
Phone Indonesia
email [email protected]
Website www.orangutanodysseys.com


Day 2: Rotary District 9370 District Conference, Grahamstown, South Africa:

An emotional afternoon with a brilliant presentation by Dr William Fowlds who spoke of his work to save rhinos from the scourge of poaching which threatens the very existence of the species. It is a bleak picture, but there are glimmers of hope as he goes about educating communities and working to change perceptions in countries that are the main markets for rhino horn.

Dr Fowlds was presented with a cheque for R10,000 from the Rotary Kenton on Sea for the Chipembere Rhino Foundation towards the training of a working track and attack dog to be used in the fight against the poachers.

He was also presented with a Paul Harris Award by DG Bruce for his sterling work.

We are so proud to have Paul Harris Fellow, Dr Fowlds, as our consultant to the Rages Board!


The SAVING THE SURVIVORS team travelled to a different province last week to assist an owner that had one of his rhinos poached a week before. We dehorned several rhino and found almost a perfect heart in the horn of the big bull. They just stay one of the most magnificent animals on the face of the planet….

Saving the Survivors – Creating Hope from Hurt – ERP initiative

8.  Bringing an Australian icon back from the brink of extinction

It’s one of Australia’s iconic animals, but the big-eared Greater Bilby is already extinct in most parts of the country. Thankfully, conservation organisations are working together to help save this endangered species.




Satao, one of the greatest elephants that lived was murdered on this day May 24th in 2014 for his tusks. What’s in a name? Well his was kept secret until he died – lets not let this happen to all the others – Lets name them to save them. #KeepTimAlive – you can help by going to https://amarula.com/trust/ every time you share your elephant a dollar goes to saving elephants. Please share:

Big Tim in Kenya



More than seven tonnes of suspected pangolin scales uncovered at Hong Kong container terminal

Haul, thought to be worth about HK$4.6 million, found inside shipping container from Nigeria

Hong Kong customs officers uncovered more than seven tonnes of scales believed to have come from endangered pangolins in a shipping container that arrived from Africa, the government said on Tuesday.

The 7,200kg haul – one of the biggest seizures of its kind in recent Hong Kong history – had an estimated market value of about HK$4.6 million, according to the Customs and Excise Department.

The scales were believed to have come from thousands of the endangered, anteater-like creatures. Africa is the main source of pangolin shipments, a government source said.

“There is a demand for pangolin scales in Asian countries such as mainland China because the scales can be used in Chinese medicine,” he said.

That’s all for this newsletter and please share wide and far and ask ask ask your fellow Rotarians and Rotaractors to join us at RAGES.  We are growing and we need members to keep the awareness out there we have a unique position in Rotary as we are the only Rotarian Action Group looking after wild animals and their welfare.

Do not hesitate to contact me with ideas and plans to save endangered species.

All the best John.


Still getting a lot of visits to our Facebook site.

Click on the logo below and join us please on Facebook.



Email: [email protected]

Phone:  61 2 6927 6027  {61 is the code for Australia}.

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