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.

News Edition 03-16

Bulletin #03-16 March Edition 2016.

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.

1.  MARCH CHAIR REPORT

G ‘ day

We at RAGES have had a very busy March with so much going on.

Our main efforts have been with preparing a strategy to work with the Jane Goodall Institute Kenya and their Roots & Shoots programmes.

I will advise you all of our progress as it happens.  This project involves the provision of Conservation Libraries in Kenya where they are needed most to help with the education of those most affected by wildlife human conflict.  This is an exciting development and as soon as we have a plan in place I will let you all know.

This proposed project with Roots & Shoots Kenya will involve Rotarians and Rotaractors alike.

We are also preparing for the Rotary International Convention upcoming in Seoul this May.  This involves making banners, printing flyers and photos for our booth in the House of Friendship.  We look forward to meeting some of you in Seoul.

Last May we visited the Sibuya  game reserve near Kenton-on-Sea in South Africa.  We met some wonderful people here who are doing so much for the rhinos in their area.  This Easter they lost three rhinos to poachers that also created two rhino orphans.  This is very sad indeed as we got to meet some of their rhinos that day May 10th 2015.

Sibuya 1

Please join our Facebook page for daily news and updates on situations such as these.

Once again I encourage you to go to Seoul and help us with our booth as there are many many delegates expected this year some say over 40,000.

Yours in Rotary

John Glassford
Chair 2014 -2016

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

RAG Endangered Species

SIBUYA RHINO ORPHANS

Sibuya 01

Sibuya orphan in Medivet Rhino Rehabilitation Enclosure on Shamwari with her new companion. Tranquilizers and blindfolds used at times to reduce stress.

Sibuya 02

Sibuya Game Reserve poaching survivors. The orphans were taken to Shamwari for specialist care. Dr Luca Mendes moved them safely there on day 1 where Dr Johan Joubert and his team were waiting to assist. Peta-Lynn O’Brien, Bruce Main, Megan Sinclair and their team are caring for them daily and have got through the first two critical days really well. The small 3 month old has had to be sedated yesterday but seems to be settling slowly in the Medivet Rhino Rehabilitation enclosure where they are being cared for.

THE POSTER CAMPAIGN.

David Pocock

RAGES want to thank David Pocock most sincerely for signing the ‘SAY No’ poster. David signed the poster shortly after the match recently played in Perth Western Australia showing his support for the campaign even though he had just sustained an injury.
David Pocock, a rugby player extraordinaire grew up in a farming area in Zimbabwe. Due to political unrest in this country his family moved to Brisbane, Australia to start a new life in 2002.

David captained the Australian Under 20’s at the Junior World Championship in 2008 and later that year made his Wallaby debut against New Zealand in Hong Kong. In 2010 he was awarded the John Eales Medal. In 2011 he played in the Rugby World Cup.

THE BURNING ISSUE

Here are three different views on the burning of ivory.

The debate goes on and I urge you all to keep learning. Stock piles do not and cannot work ever. The demand will increase as the Chinese middle class grows as does Vietnam’s. We have to make ivory worthless and it is a multi pronged attack.

Very interested in your view on this.

 1.  MALAWI

Malawi Burn 2 Malawi Burn

By Francis Phiri

Malawi set light to 2.6 tonnes of ivory on March 14. To see the tusks go black in the flames was a somber experience; they came from something like 390 dead elephants. I’ve seen elephants alive in our national parks—they’re beautiful, majestic creatures, and I’m proud that we have them in Malawi.

The ivory had been seized by the authorities from two traffickers in 2013 in Mzuzu, north Malawi. As part of the sentencing, a Court Order decreed that the ivory be destroyed.

The shipment was on its way to Lilongwe from Tanzania and included ivory from both Mozambique and Tanzania. The first court order for the destruction was initially postponed because the Tanzanian authorities wanted to use it in another case against poachers there.

It’s not my place to comment on the case, but this is the first time that ivory has ever been burned here in Malawi, and I’m interested to see how that influences public opinion.

There are many Malawians who think we should have sold it instead—as I also once thought. But after doing a bit of research, I’m now firmly in the “pro-burn” camp.

Francis Phiri, more famously know as Lawi, is a Malawian musician and singer and an ambassador for Malawi’s Stop Wildlife Crime Campaign. (Find out more at www.malawiwildlife.org) His passion for wildlife springs from his early childhood experiences of church trips to Liwonde National Park, where as a nine-year-old he saw elephants for the first time. He is eager to revive the wildlife storytelling and singing traditions that have been central to Malawi’s culture for many generations and promote the importance of protecting the country’s natural heritage.

2. KENYA

On April 30th in front of many celebrities Kenya will torch over 100 tonnes of ivory.

KENYA said Tuesday it will torch its vast stockpile of ivory at an upcoming star-studded summit in the country to include Hollywood celebrities, presidents and business leaders against “poaching and illegal trade in ivory.”

The fire will be eight times the size of any ivory stockpile destroyed so far.

“Kenya plans to use the occasion to torch as many as 120 tonnes of ivory, the largest stockpile of ivory ever destroyed by any country, as proof of our commitment to zero tolerance for poaching and illegal ivory trade,?” presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu told reporters.

Kenya said “several” heads of state were expected to attend, along with Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman, and business tycoons George Soros, Paul Allen, Howard Buffet and Michael Bloomberg.

Others Kenya expects to attend include conservation icon and BBC legend David Attenborough, British musician Elton John, as well as former basketball star Yao Ming, who has led campaigns in his homeland of China to raise awareness of the damage elephant poaching causes.

President Uhuru Kenyatta set fire in March 2015 to a giant pile of 15 tonnes of elephant ivory, which conservationists said then was the largest ever burned in Africa.

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Veteran conservationist Richard Leakey, chairman of the government’s Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), has championed the destruction of seized ivory.

Leakey said the average weight of an elephant’s pair of tusks was around 36 kilos, meaning the stockpile represents the death of around 4,000 animals.

3. BOTSWANA

Botswana Airport

Botswana created a statue made of tusks and put it in their airport to serve as a CONSTANT reminder. In Kenya, on the other hand, we praise ourselves for burning ivory. People have short memories, they forget the ivory burnings. Burning the evidence of atrocity is not the way forward. The tusks serve as harsh, painful reminders that so many elephants were brutally killed for trinkets.

We’ve been burning ivory since 1989. Has it helped curb poaching? Has it raised the intended awareness? We live in different times now and so we must use different, creative means of spreading awareness.

ORANGUTANS

Heartbreaking Image Shows Real Cost of Cheap Palm Oil

Orangutan Borneo

In the picture above, an orangutan can be seen exploring the bleak landscape they must once have called home, with a dart lodged into their back. Sadly, orangutans are often shot on sight if they wander onto a palm oil plantation. Over the past two decades alone, an estimated 20,000 of these animals lost their lives at the hands of the palm oil industry, and it has been estimated that they could be extinct in just thirty years if their current declining population trend continues.

Sumatran tigers, pygmy elephants, Sumatran rhinos, and Malayan sun bears are some of the other animal species threatened with extinction because of the destructive actions of the palm oil industry. Palm oil companies often start fires in forested areas that have been marked out for palm oil production, as a quick and convenient way of clearing the land. They leave a devastating impact on the livelihoods and the health of local people, in addition to placing animals in grave danger of extinction.

The strongest action you can take to help save the humans and animals of Indonesia, together with the ecosystems they inhabit, is by cutting palm oil out of your life today. To learn more about how you can make a difference, read the articles below.

ROTARY INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION SEOUL 2016

N.B.  Your Board is calling for volunteers who will be in Seoul next May 28th-June 2nd 2016.

We will need help to man our RAGES Booth in the House of Friendship and also the break out session.

It is a requirement as a Rotarian Action Group to hold our Annual General Meeting at the RI Convention.

In 2016 it will be in Seoul.

Get back to me if you are going and can help.

Seoul 2016

Seoul is the ideal location for a Rotary convention and a delightful travel destination to explore. You’ll find traditional tea houses and regal palaces alongside posh shopping malls and bustling markets. Make sure to include extra time in your travel plans to experience the wonders of South Korea.

FOOTNOTE

HOPE UPDATE

Hope March 26

The Save The Survivors Team immobilised Hope today to evaluate her wound, take measurements and covered it with elephant skin and a bandage. This all in preparation to work on a plan to close the wound in phases over the next 8 to 12 months.
She has responded well to treatment and her wound is at least 45% smaller than when we started treating her.
We also decided to release her into the larger camp so she can associate with all the other rhino.

What an incredible moment for our girl, Saving the Survivors and everyone who has cared for her since May 2015. Hope’s first encounter with a few of her kind in 10 months… it went better than we expected – no fisticuffs on the playground thankfully. We will be keeping a close eye on the situation until she has settled in and found her “crew”. We hope she finds a friend or two soon and bonds with them… today was a good day!

Thank you to each and every one of you who have followed the story of Hope for your unwavering support of the STS Team

RAGES FACEBOOK PAGE

Still getting a lot of visits to our Facebook site.  Over 16,000 views last week.

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

RAGES Logo

CONTACT DETAILS:

Email: [email protected]

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

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