Bermuda’s Cahows have been highlighted in a modern way, with the Looking Glass company creating an impressive looking holographic display of a Cahow’s nest, with the company saying it is done with a hope to develop techniques as an “alternative to viewing animals in captivity.”
“Holograms present the illusion that something is there in front of you when in fact it’s not — it could be a recording, or a live scene being streamed from another part of the world,” the U.S. based company noted.
Looking Glass Factory co-founder Alex Hornstein said, “We’re living in a time when a huge number of species across the planet are at risk of going extinct. As humans and our impact continues to expand across the planet, the viable habitats for some of the most vulnerable species shrink to tiny areas, small oases in the planet where the species can continue to survive.
“One of these species is the Cahow, or Bermuda Petrel, an extremely endangered, pigeon-sized seabird whose destiny is intertwined with a tiny spec of habitat called Nonsuch Island in Bermuda.”
Image of the impressive looking holographic display of a Cahow courtesy of the Looking Glass:
“Nonsuch is a tiny island, about 14 acres in size. Its size and isolation are the saving grace for the Cahow — a bird that evolved before rats or people came to Bermuda and has the unique ecological feature of nesting in holes in the ground for the five very vulnerable months that it takes to go from egg to fledged chick.
“Once people and rats came to Bermuda, the population of Cahows was driven into near-extinction, and now, after decades of effort, there are only 135 mating pairs of the bird in existence. All of them nest on Nonsuch and a few nearby rocks.
“I had built my first holographic video camera, and was presenting it at a show last year when I met JP Rouja, a Conservationist and Tech Developer who runs the Nonsuch Expeditions, an organization that works to document and spread awareness of Bermuda’s unique biodiversity and the Cahows.
“This is just the beginning, of course — a proof of concept of a third way to represent wild animals in human environments. It is my hope that this can develop further into a range of techniques for filming and viewing wild animals in their natural habitat, as an alternative to viewing animals in captivity or bringing large numbers of humans out to the fragile ecosystems where these animals live.
“I want to see this concept grow out into the world, and to continue working with conservationist partners like Nonsuch Expeditions to film and live-stream more species in the future. For an island that is unique in its ability to hatch extraordinary things, I’m thrilled to be working on Nonsuch to bring one more delightful idea out into the world.”
Bermuda’s Jean-Pierre Rouja, the Nonsuch Expeditions Team Leader, said: “As part of our efforts to produce media and develop technology for conservation, we have partnered with holographic video producers Looking Glass Factory to help develop and test their prototype cameras in Bermuda with a goal of, for the first time ever, livestreaming holographic wildlife footage to the world.”
You can read the full story on Medium.com.