Sounds of Survival

Combining sound & conservation.

Delve into the world of Ben Mirin, a sound artist and explorer, as his team of researchers set out to record the critically endangered spike-thumb frog.

Despite protections offered by the natural park in which these frogs live they face a growing suite of threats including illegal deforestation, climate change and chytrid fungus, an infamous disease which has decimated frog populations around the world.

Scientist Jonathan Kolby founded the Honduras Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Center (HARCC), an organization that is working to both treat juvenile frogs infected with chytrid fungus and develop a breeding and reintroduction program for several endangered species to guard against extinction.

Breeding spike-thumb frogs isn’t as easy as it seems with the team at HARCC facing many challenges, one of them being that they have never heard or recorded the species’ mating call. The mating call is a critical tool when it comes to inspiring frogs to breed in captivity.

Ben Mirin, alongside a number of scientists from HARCC, embarked on a research expedition to record the enigmatic frog’s mating call and bring it back to the lab.

Their story presents an insight in the power of sound as a tool for conservation.

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Ben Mirin: