Conservation news

Audio: DJ remixes the sounds of birds, lemurs, and more to inspire conservation

On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we take a break from our usual science reporting to look at some of the ways nature inspires people to create art — and how they in turn use that art to inspire others to protect the natural world and its inhabitants.

Our first guest is Ben Mirin, aka DJ Ecotone, an explorer, wildlife DJ, educator, and television presenter who creates music from the sounds of nature to help inspire conservation efforts.

In this very special Field Notes segment, Mirin discusses his craft and some of the challenges of capturing wildlife sounds in the field — including why it can be so difficult to record dolphins when all they want to do is take a bow ride on your boat. He also plays some of his field recordings and shares some of the songs he’s turned those recordings into — plus he beatboxes live over a track of bird noises!

If you like what you hear on this episode of the Newscast, you can follow Ben Mirin on Twitter and Instagram and listen to more of his music at (You can also view a TED talk Mirin did below.)

If you’d like to share your acoustic ecology work with us during a future edition of Field Notes, log on to Twitter and send us a link to a recording you made and any info about the science the clip conveys using the hashtag #Sciencesoundslike.

We also speak with Cleve Hicks, author of a children’s book called A Rhino to the Rescue: A Tale of Conservation and Adventure. Hicks says he wrote the book not only to express his love of nature but to help raise awareness of the poaching crisis decimating Africa’s rhino population.

Hicks, who painted all of the illustrations in the book (see below for examples), reads a selection from A Rhino to the Rescue and tells us about why he chose to benefit the Black Mambas, South Africa’s first all-female anti-poaching ranger unit, with proceeds from sales of the book.

Here’s this episode’s top news:

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Ernest learns to charge. Illustration by Cleve Hicks, from A Rhino to the Rescue: A Tale of Conservation and Adventure.
Rhino graveyard. Illustration by Cleve Hicks, from A Rhino to the Rescue: A Tale of Conservation and Adventure.

Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001

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