Kids invited to endangered species art contest

Parents, teachers and youth group leaders across America are invited to engage children in putting their creative skills to work in the 2014 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest, an integral part of the ninth annual national Endangered Species Day celebration.

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Organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Coalition, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and International Child Art Foundation (ICAF), the contest engages school children in grades K through 12 in expressing their appreciation for our nation’s most imperiled wildlife, including their place in our native ecosystems. The contest also promotes national awareness of the importance of saving endangered species, and helps recognize conservation initiatives across the country.

ICAF will select 40 semifinalists from the thousands of entries expected. Contest winners will be chosen by a prestigious panel of artists, photographers and conservationists, including Wyland, renowned marine life artist; Jack Hanna, host of Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild; David Littschwager, a freelance photographer and regular contributor to National Geographic Magazine; Susan Middletown, a photographer who has collaborated with Littschwager and whose own work has been published in four books; and Alice Tangerini, botanical illustrator for the Smithsonian Institution.

Along with direct action, it takes empathy and awareness to prevent the extinction of endangered species, and these are qualities the judges will look for in the winning submissions.

For more information, including entry categories, judging criteria, prizes and the entry form, visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org. Entries must be postmarked no later than March 15, 2014.

Endangered Species Day, which in 2014 will take place on May 16, was first proclaimed by the United States Congress in 2006. It is a celebration of the nation’s wildlife and wild places and is an opportunity for people to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species, as well as everyday actions they can take to help protect them.

Across the country, organizations hold special events to celebrate Endangered Species Day. Many of the Service’s field and regional offices will be hosting such events in their communities and providing unique programs to visitors on endangered species conservation. For more information, visit www.fws.gov/endangered/ESDay/index.html.

Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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