Leona Wai recently graduated from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) as BSc in Conservation Biology. She had been dreaming to be a conservationist since she was in high school. Leona loves the environment and animals since she was little. However, she had been raised in an environment with not much awareness about nature and wildlife conservation so Leona never had the chance to participate or be involved in any conservation programme as much as she would have wanted to. From the place where she comes, people were dumping rubbish in the river and companies were taking over the beautiful hills to build industrial areas, yet no one was taking any initiatives to stop it. Leona felt powerless because she couldn’t stop them from destroying the environment. Therefore, she made a decision to apply for the Conservation Biology course in hope to make a difference in the future.
Leona went to DGFC in August 2015, during her internship period with the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD). During her stay in DG, she experienced a lot of things that she had not noticed before. She could see that the forests were degraded due to the expansion of oil palm plantations. Going to DG really open up her eyes about the real issues concerning the environment. Hence, Leona felt the need to contribute something in order to help conserving the biodiversity in DG. So she chose to do a research in DG to aid in the conservation management plan of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (LKWS). In her opinion, Leona’s MSc research will help to fill in the gap of information about the wildlife protection and status, focusing on otter species in LKWS. There is not much information about otters in the LKWS as there has not been any research on otters before in the LKWS.
Leona also has a close affiliation with the Institute of Tropical and Biology Conservation (ITBC) as her undergraduate supervisor and now her postgraduate supervisor is working for ITBC.
Wai, L. 2015. Species Richness, Community Compositions and Microhabitat Characteristics of Non-Volant Terrestrial Small Mammals in Disturbed Habitats in Sabah, Malaysia. Bacherlor Degree Thesis. Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, Universiti Malaysia Sabah.