On Earth Day (April 22nd), The Smithsonian National Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Institute, released the world's first endangered song - One that will disappear forever, unless people make the effort to digitally reproduce the single that was released on just 400 polycarbonate records that will degenerate, after being played a few times.
The Conservation Institute is not getting into the music business, but trying to do what they are best known for - raise awareness of endangered animals in a way that will attract the world's attention and hopefully, compel them to take action.
In this case the animals that they wanted to shine the light on, are the regal Sumatran tigers. Found only in the jungles of Indonesia's Sumatra Island, the gorgeous cats are fast disappearing, thanks to poaching and loss of habitat. With only 400 of them left in the wild, the big cats are likely to become extinct within less than a decade, unless something is done to reverse the situation soon.
In a bid to save them, the Smithsonian partnered with popular American indie rock band: Portugal the Man, to record a special song in tribute to the beautiful tigers. However, instead of releasing the single digitally or on a CD album, they sent 400 (to highlight the number of tigers left), polycarbonate records, to 'influencers' - musicians, bloggers, newspaper journalists, etc., who have the ability to get the attention of millions of people worldwide.
The 400 recipients were asked to help raise awareness of the plight of the tiger by digitizing the song and urging fans to 'rip' it onto their playlists and also share the information with their friends through social media, using #EndangeredSong. The Institute is hoping that this unusual publicity stunt will get people more engaged in the future of the Sumatran tiger as well as, other endangered animals. To learn how you can help or get a copy of the song, check out endangeredsong.si.edu.