Jaguar Virtual Reality

The Jaguar is one of the Amazon’s most popular species for tourists and the general popular imagination. A team of researchers from the private sphere and academia in England and Australia set out on a mission in 2016 to bring the jaguar and its lush habitat to the international community using virtual reality. A cohort travelled into Peru’s portion of the Amazon Rainforest and captured data using stereo and 360-degree cameras, along with ambisonic surround sound recorders that were then edited into a virtual reality experience geared at inspiring a sense of conservation for the jaguar and its fragile habitat. However, the project also served as a way for researchers to create a map of the jaguars’ presence in the Peruvian Amazon, so the expedition served more than one good cause. There is the issue though, that is not just relevant to this project, but to nature documentaries and any visual medium that brings the natural world to the user via a screen. There is a disconnect from the subject material and a sense of false security that the leopard is safe and abundant, even if the overarching message is that the species is under threat. All researchers, artists, or foundations that use visual augmentation of their research should be conscientious about the material and the message that the audience could pick up and lead to a possible attitude of complacency.


Biodiversity, Data, Ecological Monitoring, Immersive Technology, Monitoring, Psychology, Regulation, Visual Technologies