Rages Bulletin 26 - March 2019
RAGES Bulletin #26 for March, 2019
Mid-Year 2018/2019 Update
Dear District Governors and District Governor Elects,

Congratulations on your current year of service to your districts and for the exciting year ahead. We are now in the fourth quarter of the current Rotary year and I’m sure most of you have had some very rewarding experiences touring your districts and meeting so many Rotarians doing so many great things. For you DGE’s, times are about to get crazy (but fun)!

I am sending you this newsletter as an introduction to the Rotarian Action Group Endangered Species. As Chair of RAGES I was asked by RI to reach out to all DG’s and DGE’s around the globe to promote our RAG and seek dialogue about how RAGES could help clubs in your districts with projects involving endangered species or environmental projects affecting habitat and community health. Our newsletters are intended to highlight the great works of Rotarians around the world that are leading projects to save endangered species (both flora and fauna). Projects we write about are generally those that have been endorsed by the RAGES Board of Directors.

RAGES would love to add you to our membership so that you continue to get our newsletters (with a promise not to spam!). Please go to JOIN US to send an email if you wish to become a member and we will put you in the membership/newsletter database. Further, please contact us with contact information regarding Rotary projects that you are aware of involving endangered species (including habitat) or individuals that might benefit by having a conversation with us about future projects. FYI, RAGES does not currently have a membership fee and to DG’s and DGE’s we are offering a “Lifetime Membership.”

Most importantly, please understand that Rotary International has provided an opportunity for Rotary leadership to advance environmental objectives of the clubs in your districts by affirming Rotary Action Group Endangered Species. We are here to help, from acting as an expert panel, a sounding board, or as a stakeholder in an RI grant application. Let’s work together!

Again, congratulations on your current or upcoming year, and please let us know if you wish to become a member of RAGES. I hope you enjoy the newsletter.

Yours in Rotary,

Tom L. Tochterman, Chair
Rotarian Action Group Endangered Species
Project Updates
Currently RAGES is supporting the efforts of Rotarians involved in saving endangered Orangutans, Pygmy Elephants, and Rhino. This bulletin highlights the work to save Pygmy Elephants in Borneo by Rotarian Sue Sheward and her NGO Orangutan Appeal UK. Sue is a member of the Rotary Club of Bookham & Horsely, England.

Sepilok’s Pygmy Elephant Orphans

As well as being home to orphaned and injured orangutans on varying stages of rehabilitation, the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre is also a safe haven for all kinds of wildlife. The largest of these, although still only babies, are six Bornean pygmy elephants. There are believed to be less than 2,000 of these elephants left in the wild and conflict with humans is pushing this rare species closer to the edge of extinction. Even though the Bornean pygmy elephant is smaller than its mainland cousin the Asian elephant, they unsurprisingly still require vast areas of territory to feed and roam in. With the human population expanding and development causing greater expanses of rainforest to be felled, elephants are being pushed out of the jungle and are increasingly found on agricultural or residential land where they risk being shot at or caught in illegal snares.
The orphaned elephants at Sepilok have similar stories to tell. Three year old Budak (pictured above) was found alone on plantation land when he was just two months old. Without his herd to guide and care for him, Budak began to follow the plantation workers on their motorbikes, causing a danger to himself and others. Similarly, male orphan Adun was found at just two weeks old, having fallen into a pond on the site of a saw mill. His herd were nowhere to be found and this little elephant needed urgent rescue if he was to survive.
Luckily, Sepilok is on hand to help elephants like Budak, Adun and the four other babies in their care. Like human infants, these elephants need round the clock care and regular feeds of milk and vegetation. We are dedicated to helping these individuals and two of our members of permanent staff, Rico and Sylvester, are assisting the Wildlife Rescue Unit to ensure the elephants are given the attention they need.
At the end of 2018 the Sabah government created a task force to tackle the problems facing the elephants in Sabah with the aim to create a wildlife area as a safe haven. Positive steps are being made to ensure a future for this species and we will be working closely with the WRU to care for the elephants who are most in need of help.

To read Sue's article in it's entirety, go to Orangutan Appeal UK Newsletter No. 36 .

P roject updates will be reported from time to time providing current information about projects, programs, and/or people that RAGES has endorsed. RAGES endorsed projects are generally programs that involve Rotarians and or Rotary clubs. They may either provide direct support for our mission or support others that do.  
RAGES Membership Demographics
Number of RAGES members: 838

Number of countries represented in RAGES: 61

Rotarian-led Projects:  3

TRF Global Grant Projects:  0 (Please contact us for opportunities to partner with you!)
Submit Your Project
Please send us an email with an overview of your environmental project that supports endangered species. We want to advance your good works on a global scale.

To learn about our current projects go to https://www.endangeredrag.org/projects/
Upcoming Events
Earth Day : 22 April. This year's theme is Protect our Species Earthday.Org

Rotary International Convention 2019 ; 1 - 5 June; Hamburg, Germany Rotary Convention Hamburg

World Elephant Day ; 12 August   worldelephantday.org

World Orangutan Day ; 19 August https://www.facebook.com/worldorangutanday/
RAGES - Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species