Dozens of children from kindergarten through 12th grade entered drawings in this year’s “Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest.” The contest was sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Endangered Species Coalition, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the International Child Art Foundation.
A panel of accomplished wildlife artists selected 40 finalists. The judges, which included sea life artist Wyland and endangered species photographers Susan Middleton and David Liittschwater, selected David Starovoytov as the grand prize winner His drawing depicted a rare fish named the Kentucky arrow darter cupped in two hands.
Sarovoytov’s prizes included an art lesson from a professional wildlife artist and $50-worth of art supplies.
"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 Dan Ashe, director of the USFWS, in a statement. "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."