Due to the challenges hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Melaka Butterfly & Reptile Sanctuary (MBRS) in Melaka, Malaysia was affected to the extent that the organization had to make an agonizing decision of euthanizing the butterfly larvae in their sanctuary. Besides, they had to resort to offering their precious farm-bred butterfly chrysalis for sale to the public to stay afloat. This caught the attention of Dr. Muzamil Mustaffa, Head of School of Science, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Pahang Branch, who seized the opportunity to help out MBRS.
Mr. Gerard Wong, MBRS’s Managing Director stated the strategies that can help overcome the challenges. These are raising funds/pure donation, adoption of butterfly chrysalis, and Giant Tree Nymph conservation project called “Angular Child”.
This is a long-term project where the release of butterflies will be carried out in the future. Sponsors will also be invited together during the release process.
Interestingly, Dr. Muzamil decided to adopt this project as a University Social Responsibility (USR) project and has turned it into a volunteer program for members and students of the School of Science, UiTM Pahang Branch. As Bachelor of Biology (Hons) students had undergone a series of industrial training at the organization, he found it as a good collaboration.
To begin with, the members and students of the School of Science donated RM 1560 to help MBRS in the butterfly and reptilian conservation programs. With this little help, they put their very much hope that biodiversity conservation would be sustained in the future. Also, Mr. Gerard reimbursed RM1000 to UiTM Pahang Branch for education purposes.
According to Dr. Muzamil, this collaboration can carry out joint research, conservation promotion, industry outreach programs, student development programs and continue the student internship programs for industrial training at MBRS in the future.