WOU shows support to wildlife conservation efforts

WOU recently co-hosted the ‘Wild Roads’ event in collaboration with Langur Project Penang (LPP), as part of its corporate social responsibility towards social and environmental causes.

The event held at the WOU main campus in Penang today commenced with an exhibition and a simple opening.

 Exhibition at the University to raise awareness and support to wildlife conservation.

Exhibition at the University to raise awareness and support to wildlife conservation.

In his remarks, WOU’s School of Business & Administration (SBA) Acting Dean Prakash V Arumugam lauded the collaboration since “LPP’s mission resonates well with the founding philosophy of this University”.

 “WOU was established to provide a second chance for those who did not get access to higher education. It is a chance at survival for human beings in the jungle out there. Human beings who have the senses to ask for help. Something voiceless creatures in the woods cannot do,” he said.

 Prakash highlights the need to protect the voiceless langurs.

Prakash highlights the need to protect the voiceless langurs.

“Human beings, sitting high up in the food chain, should act as protectors and not destroyers. The langurs are voiceless as their most important allies are also their greatest enemies; us humans. It is hoped that through the efforts of the LPP team, more people are aware of the plight of these ‘distant cousins’ of ours and more will come forward to help in their conservation,” Prakash continued.

LPP founder Joleen Yap meanwhile thanked WOU for sponsoring the venue for their third ‘Wild Roads’ event of the year. ‘Wild Roads’ is a nature education campaign under LPP with accompanying road shows, exhibitions and talks to highlight Penang’s dusky leaf monkeys/ dusky langurs and LPP’s efforts to promote primate conservation in Penang, including mitigating the impact of roads on wildlife crossing.

 Yap shares about Langur Project Penang and its work.

Yap shares about Langur Project Penang and its work.

She said LPP focuses on: highlighting the impact of habitat fragmentation and urban development on the ecology and behaviour of arboreal wildlife in Penang; utilising games, social media, videography and photography as educational tools to raise awareness; engaging local residents to be part of Wild Roads citizen science project; and stressing the importance of having canopy bridges to assist with arboreal wildlife crossing.

A talk by LPP field assistant Syuhada ensued where she shared on how to volunteer to be part of their road ecology citizen science programme.

 Students and staff watch the documentary at the University.

Students and staff watch the documentary at the University.

The climax was the screening of the 2017 short documentary titled ‘The Hills & The Sea’ and subsequent sharing by film maker Andrew Ng to raise environmental awareness. The documentary looks at the impact of large scale land reclamation for development projects upon the habitat, particularly the wildlife and the fishing community.

 Andrew Ng, the director of the documentary.

Andrew Ng, the director of the documentary.

LPP is an outreach research project initiated in 2016 on dusky langurs - which can be found in Penang Botanic Gardens and the Penang Hill - under the umbrella of Universiti Sains Malaysia, where Yap is a PhD (Zoology) student, and the Malaysian Primatological Society. LPP serves as a platform for environmental research and education for students and the local community.

 LPP project on habitat fragmentation and proper crossing for the langurs.

LPP project on habitat fragmentation and proper crossing for the langurs.