Owl ringtone a real hoot
By Allison Wickler
Students shouldn't be alarmed if
they start hearing owl, whale or wolf calls around campus - it's probably just a
cell phone ringtone.
Conservation biology doctoral candidate Jon Slaght, who studies the endangered
Blakiston's fish owl, recently contributed two recordings of the birds' calls to
a collection of free wildlife ringtones.
Slaght recorded the owls as part of his research before he heard about the
Center for Biological Diversity's ringtone collection project, he said.
"As it turns out, the Blakiston's fish owl is one of the rarest species that
they have," he said.
The Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit organization headquartered in
Arizona that works to protect endangered species, created the ringtone
collection to raise awareness about conservation.
Peter Galvin, conservation director at the Center, said the idea came "like a
bolt of lightning," when a scientist was imitating the sound of an owl as her
"I thought, 'Gosh, wouldn't it be cool if the phone made that sound?' " he said.
Galvin said cell phone users have downloaded more than 15,000 ringtones -
ranging from whales to South American birds - since the Web site's launch in