Eavesdropping on Elephants: How Listening Helps Conservation

56p. bibliog. glossary. index. notes. photos. websites. Millbrook. Oct. 2018. Tr $33.32. ISBN 9781541515710.
Gr 5–8—In forests in the Central African Republic, a symphony of sounds can be heard all around, but the one scientists are concerned with in this book is that of elephants. Telling the story of Katy Payne's work with elephant sounds and Cornell University's Elephant Listening Project, Newman gets into the technical aspects of studying elephant sounds and how the project quickly went from being an effort to learn more about pachyderms to one that could help their very survival. With gorgeous full-color photographs, well-defined maps, and insight into the latest technology, this book does an excellent job of transporting readers and providing a clear, multifaceted picture of African forest elephants. Several vignettes in the book feature QR codes that link to video recordings of the sounds that are being discussed, from an elephant hello to a goodbye. The work concludes by emphasizing the importance of conservation: "The more you listen to wildlife, the more your mind opens up to new ideas about why the world is a place worth saving." The book also includes a bit about the efforts of children to help elephants.
VERDICT A great pick for middle school nonfiction collections.

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