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The world needs new ways to do conservation. There is no time for endangered animals and their environments. We need an evidence base to make informed decisions, and we need it now.
We are addressing this problem by combining traditional conservation with virtual reality technology, mathematical and statistical modelling, local knowledge and international expertise.
Through our ‘Eyes on the Wild’ program, we aim to facilitate faster, better decisions about management and monitoring.
We are developing and using these approaches to help conserve jaguars in the Peruvian Amazon.
Our plan is to:
- use new 360-degree cameras and drones to take images of the jungle
- use these images to create virtual reality (VR) and immersive environments that can ‘bring the jungle to the people of the world’
- use the VR to elicit knowledge about jaguars from locals and international experts
- combine this information with statistical and mathematical models to better estimate and predict the location and abundance of jaguars, and the challenges they are facing
- use this evidence to help identify land for a jaguar corridor in Peru, where jaguars can safely live and move
- use these different technical, mathematical, local and international ‘eyes on the wild’ to develop effective monitoring and protection plans for jaguars
- use the ‘eyes on the wild’ approach to support other conservations efforts, in Peru and across the world.
The eyes of researchers
This project focuses on some of Peru’s deepest jungle regions: Imiria Reserve, a remote indigenous controlled region near Pucallpa, and the Pacaya Samiria national reserve near Iquitos
The first phase of our project was with the Lupunaluz Foundation. Our first pilot trip was in November 2015, in collaboration with this organisation. This site tells the story of that trip.