ELP's Media Spots & Publications

Radio & TV Interviews & Newspaper Articles
  • CornellCast "The Elephant Listening Project" (November, 2011).
    In this video, ELP's Director, Peter Wrege, explains how ELP is using acoustics to understand the ecology and behavior of forest elephants, and how this information is vital for conserving these elephants. You'll see clips and photos from the field.

  • CornellCast "Listening to Elephants" (September, 2011).
    In this short video, ELP's founder Katy Payne, talks about her 1988 discovery that captive Asian elephants used infrasound to communicate, and about her early field work in Ethosha and Amboseli which showed that wild African elephants also use infrasound.

  • Vanity Fair "Agony and Ivory" (August, 2011).
    Elephants across Africa face ever increasing poaching pressures, as demand from China’s “suddenly wealthy” has driven the price of ivory to $700 a pound or more. Alex Shoumatoff travels from Kenya to Seattle to Guangzhou, China, to expose those who are guilty in the massacre—and recognize those who are determined to stop it. One of the people he interviews is Andrea Turkalo, who has dedicated her life to protecting the elephants in Dzanga Bai.

  • National Geographic Weekend "Interview with Andrea Turkalo" (June 18, 2011).
    Andrea Turkalo talks about her 20 years of living with and studying the forest elephants in Dzanga Bai .

  • Animal Planet's Wild Kingdom "Mysteries of the Jungle Giants" (May 1, 2011).
    This is the Animal Planet version of the BBC Rumbles in the Jungle program, first aired in August 2010.

  • BBC Natural World "Forest Elephants - Rumbles in the Jungle" (August 8, 2010).
    This hour-long broadcast focusses on Andrea Turkalo's 20-year study of the forest elephants in Dzanga Bai. She has identified over 4,000 elephants there, and has begun to unravel the secrets of their complex lives and vocalizations. Then, the program shifts to Gabon, where ELP's Director, Peter Wrege, shows Andrea how we use remote listening devices to monitor elephant populations and poaching activity.

  • Out of Bounds "Naturalist and Founder of The Elephant Listening Project" (February 21st, 2010).
    Katy Payne talks about her ground breaking work, from discovering the songs of whales to the intricate communications of elephants. She also discusses the history and mission of the Elephant Listening Project.

  • The Animal House "Eavesdropping On Forest Elephants" (January 23, 2010).
    Peter Wrege talks about the Elephant Listening Project's mission, methods, and plans, and talks a little about what we know about forest elephants so far.

  • VPR News "Katy Payne Coming to St. Johnsbury" (January 22, 2010).
    Katy Payne talks about the Elephant Listening Project.

  • CBS 60 Minutes: "The Secret Language of Elephants" (January 3, 2010).
    Researchers listening to elephant sounds and observing their behavior are compiling an elephant dictionary. Bob Simon goes to Central Africa to listen to the language of the forest elephants first hand.

  • Environment Report "Recording Elephant Conversations" (December 18, 2009).
    Mya Thompson talks about her work with ELP and her finding that the number of elephant calls relates to the number of elephants. She also talks about ELP's more recent work. The piece includes some recordings ELP made in Dzanga National Park.

  • PopTech "Katy Payne: Elephant Songs" (October 21, 2009).
    Katy Payne talks at the PopTech conference. She talks about how her work and how it has led her to thoughts on stillness, cognition, and how acoustic phenomena shape relationshops and communties

  • NPR Wild Sounds: "Sounds Give Researchers Clues to Elephants" (August 17, 2009).
    The Central African Republic is the setting for this latest installment in the "Wild Sounds" series. Katy Payne talks about what we can learn from recordings in forest clearings, called 'Bais'.

  • Science Friday: "Elephant Health" (December 12, 2008).
    Peter Wrege, director of the Elephant Listening Project at Cornell University, takes us to an elephant hot spot in the Central African Republic. Listen to the calls of African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) and find out what researchers think the vocalizations may mean.

  • PR Speaking of Faith: "Whale Songs and Elephant Loves" (February 21, 2008).
    Host Krista Tippett talks with Katy Payne about what she has learned about life in our world from two of its largest and most mysterious creatures.

  • BBC Radio: "A Life With Elephants" (April 2003).
    A mixture of encounters with elephants and the heart-felt writings of Katy Payne brings to life both what is extraordinary about elephants and what has been extraordinary about the life of one of the world's leading elephant scientists.

  • BBC Radio: "Empathy and Ivory" (February 2003).
    Conservationists are worried that a recent decision to sell off stockpiles of ivory could spell disaster for wild African and Asian elephants.

  • NPR Earth and Sky: "Researchers learn elephants' secret language"
    Male elephants find fertile females,and elephant families stay together via "conversations" too low in frequency to be heard by the human ear.

  • NPR Radio Expeditions: "Listening to Elephants: Novel Way to Study Wildlife Raises Conservation Dilema" (Oct - Nov. 2002).
    Alex Chadwick visits the Elephant Listening Project in the field. The site features video footage, a slide show, and elephant audio.

  • NPR Radio Expeditions: "Forest Clearing Offers Rare View of Elusive Elephants" (June 2002).
    Alex Chadwick visits Andrea Turkalo at the Dzanga forest clearing to learn about the lives of forest elephants.

  • NPR Earth and Sky: "The Extensive vocabulary of African elephants"
    Katy Payne said that the lives of elephants are more acoustic then visual.

  • NPR The Connection: "Behold The Elephant" (June 21, 2002).

  • BBC Radio: "An Animal Apart" (May 2002).
    In a clearing in the tropical forests to the north of the Congo, a baby elephant lies dead. Over the next two days elephant researcher, Katy Payne, watches the reaction of the other elephants in the area. And what she sees astonishes her - from the unrelated male who tries fifty seven times to rouse the dead infant, to the adult female who starts to pull the body apart and put pieces of it in her mouth. These responses are as unique and varied as human responses would be.

  • CBS News 48 Hours: "Secret Language of Elephants" (July 2, 2001).
    In certain ways, elephants seem a lot like people: They play, laugh, preen, become angry and even mate. Some researchers believe that these mammals may even have their own language.

  • The New York Times: "Eavesdropping on Secrets of Elephant Society" (January 9, 2001).
    New York Times Science section with an in-depth story featuring the ELP project, with photos and quicktime videos narrated by Katy. (Access to the NY Times requires a free registration.) You can also view 3 videos narrated by Katy Payne that guide you on a fascinating journey of discovery: click here to view these.

Publications Related to ELP Research
Books by Katy Payne
  • Silent Thunder - In The Presence Of Elephants is Katy Payne's story of her discovery of infrasound in the communication system of elephants, and the development of her commitment to use their own language to further their survival in the wild. This fascinating and warm description of a path of inquiry that led to the establishment of the Elephant Listening Project, and stimulated the interest of many scientists in the role of low-frequency communication in elephant society, is a great read.

    The New York Times Book Review
    "Payne offers the opportunity for a rare experience and awakening that will change our view of ourselves, elephants, and all living things."

    The San Fransico Chronicle
    "A fascinating, charming and insightful book, filled with adventure, anecdote, scientific discovery and insights."

    London Times
    "What Diane Fossey did for the mountain gorillas, or Joy Adamson for the lion, Payne does for the elephant. She helps to build a healing line of communication between man and beast."

    The Globe and Mail
    "This book tells an important story of a human being vibrant with perceptions of the natural and human world. It describes on ongoing engagement with what it means to be to be fully alive - intelligent, sensitive, observing, spiritual - in the presence of elephants, and in the presence of Katy Payne."

    Scientific American
    "The living presence of elephants is both the root and the ripest fruit of this wonderful book."

    The Seattle Times
    "Fascinating."

    Kirkus Reviews
    "An account that is finally a philosophical and political meditation on wildlife."

    Publishers Weekly
    "This book will make a wonderful addition to the library of any animal lover or of anyone fascinated by intra- and interspecies communication."

    Ithaca Times
    "Her descriptions of the fieldwork with elephants is fabulous. We discover truths about elephants along with Payne."

    Booklist
    "A candid and sobering discussion of our species' perverse relationship with the rest of nature."

    Audubon
    "Unusually probing."

    You can purchase Silent Thunder from Amazon, or send an email to us at info@elephantlisteningproject.org for a signed copy (limited copies available).

  • Elephants Calling: Face to Face is a children's book (Grades 4-6). Katy focuses on one family of elephants living at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. She describes various aspects of the elephants' behaviour, with an emphasis on sound and communication. Beautifully illustrated with color photographs.

    School Library Journal
    "This is a straightforward, engaging, and informative book with splendid, mostly full-color photographs of appealing babies and imposing adults."

    Kirkus Reviews
    "A vivid first person narrative."

    You can purchase Elephants Calling from Amazon, or send an email to us at info@elephantlisteningproject.org for a signed copy (limited copies available).

Related Topics

© Peter Wrege

Andrea Turkalo and correspondant Bob Simon, with Pius in the background during the CBS 60_Minutes filming at Dzanga.
Watch the show!