Young Artists Capture the Beauty of Endangered Species

The competition celebrated Endangered Species Day.

rusty-patched bumblebee

Ian Danao / Endangered Species Coalition

Colorful bumblebees flit among flowers. Water birds strut along the shore. A garter snake protects her eggs.

These are some of the winning images in the 2022 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest, sponsored by the Endangered Species Coalition.

The competition was part of celebrations for the 17th annual Endangered Species Day, which was celebrated this year on May 20. (But celebrated every year on the third Friday in May.)

The contest involves students in grades K-12 in promoting awareness of saving endangered species.

Ian Danao, age 14, from Tustin, California, was the grand prize winner with his drawing of rusty patched bumblebees, above.

"I'm so glad I've been chosen as the winner,” said Ian, in a statement. “This year there are so many great works and I'm surprised I've been chosen! I created this because my art teacher suggested it to me and I chose the rusty patched bee because I believe bees are very important to the environment and nature around us."

Ian will receive $200 for art materials, as well as a lesson by a professional artist, museum passes, and funding for native plants to restore pollinator habitats.

This year's winners were chosen from more than 700 entries by a panel of eight artists, photographers, and conservationists. The six final contest winners were chosen from 40 semifinalists.

“Endangered Species Day celebrates our declared national responsibility to our children and their children to save our vanishing wildlife and plants,” said Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “Bald eagles, sea turtles, wolves, and gray whales are just a fraction of the 1,600 species that the Endangered Species Act is saving every day.”

Here's a look at the winners in many of the categories.

First Place

piping plover

Lucas Park / Endangered Species Coalition

Lucas Park, age 5, of Chandler, Arizona, won first place for his drawing of these piping plovers strutting near the water.

Grades K-2 Winner

San Francisco garter snake

Marcus Li / Endangered Species Coalition

Marcus Li, age 8, of Clarksburg, Maryland, was the winner for this colorful image of a San Francisco garter snake protecting her eggs.

Grades 3-5 Winner

Barrens topminnow

Celine Matthews / Endangered Species Coalition

Celine Matthews, age 10, of Cary, North Carolina, was in this category for this drawing focusing on the Barrens topminnow.

Grades 6-8 Winner

Mexican wolf

Rachel Zhu / Endangered Species Coalition

Rachel Zhu, age 13, of Wayland, Massachusetts, earned the top award in grads 6-8 for this somber Mexican wolf.

Grades 9-12 Winner

gunnison sage grouse

Lainie Ramos / Endangered Species Coalition

Lainie Ramos, age 16, of Penngrove, California, took home top honors in the grades 9-12 category for this regal-looking Gunnison sage-grouse.

Here are some of the contest's other semifinalists. Check out all the winning art on the Endangered Species Coalition’s Flickr Gallery.

Northern spotted owl

Amy Ai / Endangered Species Coalition

Ami Ai, grades K-2 semifinalist, "Northern spotted owl"

Sierra Nevada red fox

Ciarra Aloi / Endangered Species Coalition

Ciarra Aloi, grades 9-12 semifinalist, "Sierra Nevada gray fox"

Maui parrotbill

Jason Deng / Endangered Species Coalition

Jason Deng, grades 6-8 semifinalist, "Maui parrotbill (honeycreeper)"

Crested honeycreeper

Jane Zhang / Endangered Species Coalition

Jane Zhang, grades 3-5 semifinalist, "Crested honeycreeper"

golden-cheeked warbler

Luca Liu / Endangered Species Coalition

Luca Liu, grades K-2 semifinalist, "Golden-cheeked warbler"

Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep

Kimely Li / Endangered Species Coalition

Kimely Li, grades 9-12 semifinalist, "Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep"

Canada Lynx

Lisa Yunji Kim / Endangered Species Coalition

Lisa Yunji Kim, grades 6-8 semifinalist, "Canada lynx"

key deer

Claire Chou / Endangered Species Coalition

Claire Chou, grades 3-5 semifinalist, "Key deer"

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