Feb. 2, 2017 – Protecting nature is critical to keeping our planet thriving for future generations. What better way to do that than by engaging youth to put their imaginative skills to work for wildlife in the 2017 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest.

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The competition provides school children in grades K through 12 an opportunity to learn about threatened and endangered wildlife while expressing their knowledge and support for conservation efforts through their artistic and creative talents. It is an integral part of the 12th annual international Endangered Species Day celebration, which will take place on May 19, 2017.

Artwork should highlight one or more land- or ocean-dwelling threatened or endangered species — mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, plant or invertebrate — found in the United States. Entries must be submitted electronically no later than March 1, 2017.

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 promotes national awareness of the importance of saving endangered species across the United States and around the globe.

Contest winners will be chosen by a prestigious panel of artists, photographers and conservationists, including renowned marine life artist Wyland; Jack Hanna, host of Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild; David Littschwager, 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.

For more information, including entry categories, judging criteria, prizes and the entry form, please visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org.

Events will be held across the United States and around the globe by numerous organizations celebrating endangered Species Day, which was first proclaimed by the United States Congress in 2006. Many of the Service’s field and regional offices will be hosting local community programs to visitors on endangered species conservation.

To learn more about Endangered Species Day, please visit: www.fws.gov/endangered/ESDay/index.html