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Published on Mar 31, 2016
VR/360-degree video production by June Kim and Tomasz Bednarz.
JAGUARS hold a central place in the spiritual and ecological life of the Amazon. These majestic and nomadic creatures have been proven to traverse distances as far as from Mexico to Argentina but population numbers are poorly understood and their habitat is under threat. An international collaboration led by Lupunaluz Foundation, Queensland University of Technology and big cat charity, Panthera, is working to establish the Peruvian leg of a Pan American jaguar corridor. The initial aim of the project is to bring together the latest in virtual reality technology, mathematical and statistical modeling, and local indigenous knowledge to map the jaguar populations.
Lupunaluz and QUT have completed a four-week expedition to some of Peru's deepest jungle regions to begin a long term conservation project. The Lupunaluz research trip with QUT was broken into two parts. Firstly we went to Imiria Reserve, a remote indigenous controlled region near Pucallpa in the North of Peru. From Imiria we ventured north to the Pacaya Samiria national reserve, a more than two million hectare biodiversity hotspot that has been protected since 1940 but where there has been precious little study on the health and abundance of jaguars. The jaguar is the dominant predator in the Americas, but its occupied range has been reduced by about 54 per cent since 1900. It is now considered near-threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2013 red list with numbers being impacted by loss of habitat, interaction with humans and declines in its prey base, and more recently by climate change.