This year, The Habitat Foundation was pleased to partner with the Malaysian Primatalogical Society and Roots & Shoots Malaysia in providing the cash prizes for the 8th International Essay Competition organized by SM Sains Alam Shah. We are excited to announce the final results!
The Habitat Foundation congratulates those students whose essays have been selected from 278 entries from 11 different countries around the world and earned them cash and book prizes.
There was an exceptionally high standard of submissions this year. In addition to the top three in each category, seven consolation prizes were awarded in each category. Certificates of Participation are also being awarded to the writers of essays that were shortlisted.
The full results may be found on the official website: http://asiskl.org/aiwc2018/
We thank all who have made this competition possible including the distinguished judges, the organizers and secretariat, and the teachers and parents that encouraged the students to participate.
One of the key messages which runs through the essays on primates is how much children across the globe care about our threatened wildlife, and want decision makers to ensure that they are protected and allowed to thrive in their natural habitat.
The official prize-giving will take place in Shah Alam on 5 October 2018
JUNIOR CATEGORY WINNERS
1st prize Junior Category: Ariscca Michael from SM Sains Seri Puteri, Kuala Lumpur.
“One of the other reasons why I love these furry and loving mammals is because of their odd yet warm hands that look like humans’. I still clearly remember the day when my family and I visited the Malacca Zoo. We stayed back to watch the animal show in the evening and we were lucky to get the experience to meet and greet one of the famous orangutans there. Her name was Diana and she could give the best hugs ever. I will never forget that sweet moment when she held my hand. The feeling of her hand was beyond my expectations. At the innocent age of six, I never expected the hands of an orangutan to be warm, smooth and very ladylike. I can still remember crying and not wanting to let go of her warm grasp …”.
2nd Prize Junior Category: Adam Hakim Hogg from SK Bukit Fraser, Pahang.
“I still remember the first time I ever encountered the Siamang in the wild. It was not long after my family moved to Fraser’s Hill, a quaint hill-station nestled in Malaysia’s Titiwangsa Range. At first we heard their calls and then we saw them swinging from tree to tree passing by our house, it was really exciting. My second sighting was one day when I noticed something big hanging with arms outstretched from a branch high in the fig tree opposite our house; at first I actually thought it was a gorilla. After close observation I realized that this was a Siamang. This was the first time I had the chance to have a really close look at one and I thought it was awesome, so big, shiny, and jet black, with a grey coloured chin like a beard. Then I noticed there were others, a family. They even had a smallish baby. Nowadays I frequently see these creatures near my home when the fig trees are in fruit and I always get excited when I see them.”
3rd prize Junior Category: Kisha Nair Rames from SK Bukit Gambir, Gelugor, Pulau Pinang.
“The name Lemur is actually Latin for ‘the spirits of the night’. Lemurs are a species of primate known as the ‘Prosimians’. They are primates that have very interesting feature. They look like a cat crossed with a squirrel. The country Madagascar is world-famous for its lemurs. These animals have very unique behaviors too, from singing like a whale to swaying across the sand like a ballerina.”
“Lemurs are easy to be loved. They’re cute, charismatic and oddly humanlike, which isn’t just a coincidence. Lemurs are primates like us, and while they’re not as closely related to people as chimpanzees and other apes are, they’re still family. Despite lemurs’ popularity, sadly they are Earth’s most endangered group of mammals, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).”
Consolation prizes (Junior category)
Kamilhakim Bin Sabarudin, Sekolah Menengah Sains Alam Shah, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Esther Uwadione, St Malumba Catholic College, Lagere, Osun State, Nigeria.
Isaac Anderson Anak Wat, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Merbau, Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Rachel Koh Jia Jia, Sekolah Tinggi Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Wilson Chee, Sekolah Menengah Sains Tuanku Munawir, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.
Marvin Chin Yi Kai, Sekolah Tinggi Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Aiman Bin Mizan, Sekolah Menengah Sains Alam Shah, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
1st prize Senior Category, Mark Russell Dancis Caranzo from the Philippines Science High School, Eastern Visayas Campus, Leyte, the Philippines.
The Numinous Eyes of a Tropical Night
“Beneath the canopy of the southeastern Philippine forests, lurk hundreds of nocturnal primates which are as enigmatic as their mystic stares. Serene silver moonlight radiates through the leaves and branches in the midst of the darkness which envelopes the nightfall. As the moon slowly ascends and takes its throne in the night sky, together with the thousands of constellations, big rounded eyes, which are fresh from a deep slumber, gradually unclose. It is now time to rise and to start their day for the little Philippine Tarsiers.”
“… Therefore, what can we do to help save the Philippine Tarsiers? First, preserving their forestal homes is one, if not the greatest, of the conservation measures that we can do to help these tarsiers thrive for generations. Regardless of how urbanization will continue to spread, we should still take into account that we, humans, are not the only ones who should be taking advantage of all the benefits the forests have to offer. It will be poorly justifiable to indiscriminately deprive these tarsiers from acquiring a humble home in the forest, or to strip away their rights to spend their life peacefully in an abode of trees and vegetation.”
2nd prize winner Senior Category: Sajani Sathasivam from the HLC International School, Karanai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
“India, my country, is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the Asian subcontinent, and it is a haven for a wide range of rare and beautiful creatures, from venomous snakes such as the king cobra to majestic mammals such as the Bengal tiger. India also happens to be home to about fifteen different species of primate… I have chosen the Lion Tailed Macaque not only because I believe that it plays a very important part in its ecosystem, as an umbrella species, but also because I was lucky enough to observe these beautiful creatures in the wild. ”
“…. Due to the efforts of the government and these organizations, the Lion Tailed Macaque is no longer on the list of the world’s 25 most endangered primates. Though progress has been made, the problem has not been fully solved yet. We still have a long way to go to ensure the safety of these animals. I truly believe that in order to save the Lion Tailed Macaques, their habitat must be conserved by protecting the surrounding areas and by the creation of more wildlife reserves.”
3rd prize winner Senior Category: Nicholas Ting Tiing Hou from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sacred Heart, Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia.
“I am most grateful to be given this opportunity to speak for the voiceless, fellow primates, that the export of primates for medical laboratory research should be banned. This is because such practices are unethical, threatens primates’ existence and result in unnecessary sacrifice of primates. Instead of carrying out such exercises, we should be responsible steward of mother-nature (primates included) and make use of other better alternatives for medical laboratory research.”
Consolation prizes (Senior category)
Natalie Toh Tik Chu, Beaconhouse Sri Inai, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Darlene Kawilarang, Sekolah LentEra Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Elea Maisarah Binti Hafizuddin, Sekolah Seri Puteri, Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Fatin Nur ‘Arifah Binti Suhaizar, Sekolah Menengah Sains Seri Puteri, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Aida Yusrina Binti Salleh, Sekolah Menengah Sains Seri Puteri, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Yazhini Satiamoorthy, Universal High School, Malad (East), Mumbai, India.
Radhika Batra, Delhi Public School, Haryana, India.