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Announcing Sacred Mounds, a novel of Magical Realism and Historical Fantasy from Jim Metzner, with a foreword by Hutke Fields, principal chief of the Natchez Nation.
Cyclonic hordes of insects, a telepathic despot, body-swapping sex - just a few of the surprises Salvador Samuels encounters when he is swept back to pre-colonial times, walking in the moccasins of a blind Indian - who, in turn, has been transported into Salvador's body in present-day America. Sacred Mounds Book Cover Four hundred years apart, they are bound by a mission to rescue our world, aided by the mysterious presence of the mounds. Thousands of these ancient earthworks once dotted the landscape of North America. We still don't know why they were created. Sacred Mounds suggests they are as important today as when they were made over a thousand years ago. Sacred Mounds weaves the stories of two men, each a stranger in a strange land. With the help of two remarkable women, they must find a way to save our planet and return home.
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Pantanal - Listening to Jaguars: The Pulse of the Planet daily radio program offers free legal online mp3 downloads, exploring the world of sound in nature, culture and science, with audio adventures, world music, extraordinary sound portraits, science diaries, and nature ring-tones; an amazing sonic experience.

Airdate: Jul 10, 2002
Scientist: Leandro Silveira

Pantanal - Listening to Jaguars

Pantanal - Listening to Jaguars
In the Pantanal (wetlands) region of Brazil, the top predator could be the next big tourist attraction.


ambience: call of a jaguar

This time of year is the breeding season for jaguars. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. We're in Brazil, south of the Amazon, in a large wetlands region called the Pantanal. Although jaguars are an endangered species, there's still a healthy population of this top predator here. They're rarely seen, but sometimes heard -- during the breeding season.

"You're able to hear them at night, especially when you have females in heat around."

Biologist and Earthwatch scientist Leandro Silveira has been learning the secrets of this elusive animal which has long been an object of awe and fear.

"Jaguars play a very mystic role in Brazilian cultures. Indigenous people - they are very afraid of the jaguars -they are very afraid to be attacked. And what we have learned studying jaguars - - the last thing that animals would do is to attack a human being. All the attacks, it is always related to situations where they were treed or, you know, they were being hunted, and they were shot and wounded and they would come back to the people. There’s no record of natural attacks in this regions."

These days, there is still an uneasy relationship between jaguars and human residents of the Pantanal.

"Well, since farmers colonized in the Pantanal for beef cattle production, they have had problems with jaguars eating their cattle. Usually the farmers in retaliation, they shoot the animals. Although killing of jaguars are illegal, in the recent years, farmers have become more conscious about this and not killing every jaguar they see, at least."

Besides being heard, jaguars can sometimes be observed on beaches along river banks. And it's hoped that bringing in tourists to listen to and view these magnificent animals in the wild will encourage farmers to see the jaguar as an ally.

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation.