Give Wildlife a Chance poster contest is now underway

Teachers and students across the state are invited to honor Georgia’s wildlife and students’ artistic interests by participating in the 28th annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest.

The goal of the competition, open to grades K-5, is to generate a greater knowledge and appreciation of Georgia’s diverse and increasingly threatened non-game wildlife and their habitats. Non-game species (those not legally hunted or fished for) vary from rare animals and plants such as Barbour’s map turtle and dwarf trillium to common species such as the Carolina chickadee and tulip poplar.

This popular art contest is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and The Environmental Resources Network (TERN) friends group of DNR’s Non-game Conservation Section. The theme for the 2017-18 school year is “Nature at Night.” The topic highlights the various adaptive behaviors of wildlife as well as their interactions with plants.

Depending on when wild animals are most active, they are considered diurnal, crepuscular or nocturnal. Diurnal wildlife (including the chipmunk, green anole and most songbirds) usually are awake during the day but asleep at night. Crepuscular animals (like the big brown bat, common nighthawk and fireflies) are most active at twilight but may be awake during the night, too. Nocturnal animals (such as the southern flying squirrel and most owls and frogs) typically are active at night but asleep during the day.

After creating artwork based on this year’s theme and within contest rules, participants will enter their drawings and paintings at the local school level. Top school-level entries then proceed to the state contest at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens. First-, second- and third-place winners are chosen there for four divisions: kindergarten, first and second grade, third and fourth grade, and fifth grade. The deadline for schools to submit state-level entries is April 13, 2018.

The top 12 state-level winners’ artwork will be showcased on DNR Wildlife Resources Division social media sites and displayed at the State Botanical Garden in Athens from May 8 through the 16th. The State Botanical Garden offers a fascinating variety of plants as well as opportunities to view wildlife in the fields and forests. Admission is free, although donations are accepted. For directions, operating hours and a garden map, visit http://botgarden.uga.edu.

As a special perk for supporting this contest, each state-level winner’s teacher and one parent will receive a free bald eagle license plate, courtesy of TERN! For contest rules, awards, entry forms and other information, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/PosterContest.