Winners Announced for 2015 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest

Endangered Species Day
Endangered Species Day
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Washington, DC -(Ammoland.com)- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Endangered Species Coalition, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the International Child Art Foundation proudly announce the winners of the 2015 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest.

The contest is an integral part of the 10th annual national Endangered Species Day, which will take place on May 15, 2015. It engages school children in grades K–12 in expressing their appreciation for our nation’s most imperiled wildlife, and promotes national awareness of the importance of saving endangered species.

The winners are:

*Grand Prize:*

  • David Starovoytov (6th grade), Sacramento, Calif.

*Second Place:*

  • Seungeun Yi (8th grade), Irvine, Calif.

*First Place Winners in Grade Categories:*

  • Grades K-2: Mark Deaver (2nd grade), Citrus Heights, Calif.
  • Grades 3-5: Difei Li (5th grade), Dayton, N.J.
  • Grades 6-8: Claire Kiernicki (6th grade), Pingree Grove, Ill.
  • Grades 9-12: Adam Pavan (10th grade), San Diego, Calif.

The winning entries can all be viewed at http://bit.ly/1IxwB4W.

“More than just an art competition, this is a jumping off point to engage children in a conversation about America’s unique wildlife and the importance of conserving it,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “The idea that without our help, some species could vanish during their lifetime resonates with kids and can inspire them to become the conservationists of tomorrow.”

Contest winners were carefully selected by a panel of prestigious artists, photographers and conservationists, including renowned marine life artist Wyland; Jack Hanna, host of *Jack Hanna's Into the Wild*; David Liittschwager, a freelance photographer and regular contributor to *National Geographic* Magazine; Susan Middletown, a photographer who has collaborated with Liittschwager and whose own work has been published in four books; and Alice Tangerini, botanical illustrator for the Smithsonian Institution.

“Every year, it is incredibly heartening to see how children express their understanding and concern for wildlife through art,” said Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “Their love for nature comes through loud and clear. And we hope that they carry the experience of participating in Endangered Species Day throughout their lives.”

The grand prize winner will be honored at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Congressional Reception in Washington, D.C. in May and will receive a special art lesson from a professional wildlife artist (via Skype) and $50-worth of art supplies of their choice.

Endangered Species Day 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.

For more information about the annual art contest, winners and Endangered Species Day, visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org.

About U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.FWS.gov.