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 first thing I do every morning when I get to work is check out the e-mailed press releases that came in during the night. Animal columnists get some pretty weird stuff. In fact, sometimes the press releases are SOOOO weird, I just have to share them with somebody. Looks like you’re it!
Like the one below that just came in from the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, a national science-based nonprofit organization that works to protect endangered species and wild places throughout the world.
Check it out:
"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.
"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."
Oh Boy, I want a JAGUAR ringtone! That’ll clear the room before the end of the first ROAR!
Then I can have a nice, private conversation with the person who’s calling me.