Winners of 2016 “Saving Endangered Species” Art Contest

06 May 2016 | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service News Release

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Coalition, Association of Zoos and Aquariums and International Child Art Foundation proudly announce the winners of the 2016 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest.

The contest is an integral part of the 11th annual national Endangered Species Day, which will take place on May 20, 2016. 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:

Miles Yun (10th grade) La Canada, CA

First Place Winners in Grade Categories:

Grades K-2: Rachel Yang (2nd grade) Belmont, CA

Grades 3-5: Sophia Xie (5th grade) Lexington, MA

Grades 6-8: Katrina Sharonin (7th grade) Belmont, CA

Grades 9-12: Elizabeth Kiernicki (11th grade) Pingree Grove, IL

The winning entries can be viewed at:

“As our society becomes increasingly urban and disconnected from the natural world, it is becoming more and more important to engage our youth in conservation and teach them the importance of protecting our imperiled species,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “The work of these children and young adults shows the power of art to capture the imagination and forge critical connections to our magnificent wildlife and wild places. The work of all the entrants is an inspiration to us all and a reminder that we live in a beautiful, but also fragile, world.”

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 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.

“Kids are perhaps best at seeing how inter-connected we are to the world around us, and expressing that in their artwork,” said Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “Every time a new work of art comes in from the youth art contest, we can see just how meaningful animals and plants are for children. It’s our hope that participating in the art contest becomes part of a life-long love of nature.”

The grand prize winner Miles Yun 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 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

For more information about the annual art contest, winners and Endangered Species Day, visit


Christina Meister,, 703-358-2284

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