Monday, December 18, 2006

Faxploitation: Call of the Wild

by Kara Platoni
Mon, Dec 18, 2006 at 3:25 PM

Aw, now this is cute! If you've spent the last two weeks in the mall having your peace of mind gradually shredded by everyone's cellphone shrilly ringing, blinging, and singing, the San Francisco office of the Center for Biological Diversity wants you to know that it has a little holiday gift for you: downloadable ringtones of rare and endangered species, including Blakiston's Fish Owl, the Beluga Whale, and the Mountain Yellow-legged Frog. More after the jump.

    For Immediate Release: December 18, 2006

    Center for Biological Diversity Offers Free Endangered Wildlife Ringtones

    TUCSON, Ariz. - Calling all cell phone users: Now you can personalize your ringtones with the mesmerizing, heartfelt, and - dare we say? - operatic calls of the Blue-throated Macaw, Beluga Whale, Boreal Owl, Mountain Yellow-legged Frog, Yosemite Toad, or any one of 40 other endangered wildlife species. And it's absolutely free.

    The endangered species advocates at the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity are offering ringtones of the croaks, chirps and songs of dozens of rare and endangered animals from around the world. Featured are the authentic sounds of some of the world's most threatened owls, tropical birds, frogs, toads and marine mammals. The free ringtones are easily downloaded from the Center's Web site at http://rareearthtones.com.

    "People really respond to the wildlife ringtones - the animal calls are fascinating, they personalize your phone, and they sound cool when it rings," said Peter Galvin, the Center's Conservation Director. "The best part is that they inspire people to understand and work to protect endangered wildlife."

    The Center's free ringtones allow cell phones to come alive with the haunting hoots of rare owls from around the world, the sensational songs of tropical birds, the crazy croaks of more than a dozen imperiled amphibians, or the underwater orchestras of Orcas and Beluga Whales. The free Web site allows users to listen to the wildlife ringtones, send ringtones directly to their phones with one easy click after entering an e-mail address, and download photos and fact sheets for each of the featured wildlife species. Users who download any one of the fact sheets can take action - with just one click - to save endangered species worldwide.

    Among more than two dozen species of owls featured on the site, are the critically endangered Blakiston's Fish Owl, of which only a few hundred owls remain in Russia, China and Japan, and the California Spotted Owl, which is rapidly vanishing from the forests of the Sierra Nevada and Southern California. The owl ringtones are made available in concert with the nonprofit Global Owl Project, a worldwide project to identify and conserve the planet's owls.

    Also available are more than a dozen ringtones of endangered and threatened North American frogs and toads, such as the Mountain Yellow-legged Frog, denizen of high elevation lakes in the Sierra Nevada and Southern California, and the Houston Toad, found only at a few locations in Texas. The Center plans to add ringtones for scores of additional imperiled species such as several endangered whales, dozens more tropical birds and North American songbirds, many more North American amphibians, and charismatic predators such as the Polar Bear, Gray Wolf and Jaguar.

    The Center for Biological Diversity works directly to protect many of the species for which they are offering ringtones, including the Orca (Pacific Northwest), Beluga Whale (Arctic), California Red-legged Frog (California), Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (California, Oregon), Mountain Yellow-legged Frog (Sierra Nevada and Southern California), Oregon Spotted Frog (Pacific Northwest), Yosemite Toad (Sierra Nevada), Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant (Peru, Bolivia), Blue-throated Macaw (Bolivia), Fringe-backed Fire-eye (Brazil), Peruvian Plantcutter (Peru), California Spotted Owl (Sierra Nevada and Southern California), and Western Burrowing Owl (Western U.S., Canada).

    The Center for Biological Diversity is a national science-based nonprofit organization that works to protect endangered species and wild places throughout the world. The Center has more than 25,000 members and 10 offices throughout the U.S., with headquarters in Tucson, Arizona.

    Web site www.biologicaldiversity.org

    The Center for Biological Diversity protects endangered species and wild places through science, policy, education, and environmental law.

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