Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

National Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest Winners Chosen

Apr 22, 2013

April 22, 2013

Vanessa Kauffman, Office of Communications, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 703-358-2138
David Robinson, Director, Endangered Species Day, 619-697-1459
Leda Huta, Executive Director, Endangered Species Coalition, 202-320-6467
Dr. Ashfaq Ishaq, Executive Chairman, International Child Art Foundation, 202-530-1000

National Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest Winners Chosen
Two California Artists Win First Place in Grade Categories

WASHINGTON, DC –Two young artists from California received first place in their grade categories for artwork entered in the 2013 Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest. The winners were announced today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Endangered Species Coalition, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the International Child Art Foundation. The art contest is an integral part of the 8th annual national Endangered Species Day on May 17, 2013.

Hannah Chacko, a first grader from Fremont, California, submitted a drawing of the endangered San Francisco Garter Snake entitled “Here Now and Then Gone?!” Hannah’s art is inspired by her pets, and every other animal she can think of. “I love how colorful the San Francisco garter snake is,” she said. “It has the most beautiful eyes.”

Kevin Huo, an eighth grader from Foster City, California, submitted a mixed medium drawing of the endangered short-tailed Albatross entitled “Stormy Ocean Wandering Albatross.” Kenneth Huo, Kevin’s father, attributes living by the San Francisco Bay, a hot spot for migratory birds, as providing Kevin with inspiration for his art and love of “birds over the bay!”

“Each one of the more than 2,000 young artists deserves our nation’s thanks for bringing focus to the plight of the Oahu tree snail, the Florida panther, and other threatened and endangered species that dwell in our mountains, valleys and waters,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “I am inspired by these talented young people who have depicted in art some of our nation's most precious natural resources.”

The winners are:

Grand Prize:
Ava Bribiesco (Kindergarten)
St. Louis, MO

First place winners in grade categories:

Grades K-2:
Hannah Chacko (1st grade)
Fremont, CA

Grades 3-5:
Anisha Kundu (4th grade)
Sudbury, MA

Grades 6-8:
Kevin Huo (8th grade)
Foster City, CA

Grades 9-12:
Memoree Plaisance (10th grade)
Franklinton, LA

The winners were chosen by a prestigious panel of artists, photographers, scientists and conservationists including Wyland, the marine artist; 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.

“It is amazing to see children express their love of animals and plants in their remarkable submissions,” said Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “We congratulate each winner and also thank all students, parents, teachers, artists, and everyone else who was involved in making this contest a success."

The grand prize winner will be honored at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Congressional Reception in Washington, D.C. on May 22, 2013, and have her name engraved on a special trophy. In addition, the winner will receive an art lesson from Wyland, a plaque, and art supplies. First place category winners will receive a plaque and art supplies.

Forty semifinalists were chosen by the International Child Art Foundation and their artwork can be viewed on a special online gallery at: Digital prints of their artwork can also be viewed at the U.S. Botanic Garden on the national mall from mid-April through the end of June. “We reviewed such a variety of excellent entries from talented young artists from throughout the country; it was difficult to choose even these 40 semifinalists,” stated Dr. Ashfaq Ishaq, Executive Chairman of the International Child Art Foundation.

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

Started in 2006 by the United States Senate, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of our nation’s imperiled plants and wildlife and wild places, with an emphasis on success stories of species recovery.

Many of the Service’s field and regional offices will be hosting events in their communities and providing unique programs to visitors on endangered species conservation in celebration of Endangered Species Day. For more information on how you can find an event near you, please visit

America’s fish, wildlife and plant resources belong to all of us, and ensuring the health of imperiled species is a shared responsibility. To learn more about the Service’s Endangered Species program, go to where you can download podcasts and find links to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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