Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, November 8, 2018

Contacts:  Roger Peet (artist), (503) 753-7027, toosphexy@gmail.com
Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, (503) 484-7495, ngreenwald@biologicaldiversity.org
Taylor Young, Austin Discovery School, (512)-844-2413, tyoung@austindiscoveryschool.org

Endangered Species Mural to Be Celebrated Nov. 14 at Austin Discovery School

Local Salamanders Featured in National Project

AUSTIN, Texas— The Center for Biological Diversity, Austin Discovery School and Save Our Springs Alliance are hosting an event on Nov. 14 to celebrate the 18th installment in the Center's national Endangered Species Mural Project.

The 10-foot by 25-foot mural features two local salamander species: the Austin blind and the Jollyville Plateau. It is being painted by artist Roger Peet and students from the school.

“Most people will never get the chance to see these salamanders in the wild,” said artist Roger Peet, the endangered species mural project coordinator. “By magnifying these incredibly cool but obscure little three-inch salamanders, we hope people will be inspired to take action and help save them.”

The celebration will be part of “Fall into the Arts” festival week. Peet will be available for interviews onsite from Nov. 7 through Nov. 13 during the painting process. Austin Discovery School students will help him paint.

What: Endangered Species Mural Project public celebration of Austin blind and Jollyville Plateau salamanders with music, refreshments, activities and local conservation organizations. A scientist from the Austin Watershed Protection Department will display live salamanders.

When: Wednesday, Nov. 14, 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Where: Austin Discovery School, 9303 FM 969, Austin, TX 78724. Near John Trevino Jr. Metro Park.

Species Background
These fully aquatic salamanders require clean, well-oxygenated water and are threatened by pollution and activities that reduce water flow to their springs. Because they can’t survive in polluted waterways, they are excellent indicators of the health of the environment. They were protected under the Endangered Species Act in 2013 following advocacy from the Center and from Save Our Springs Alliance.

The Austin blind salamander occurs in and around Barton Springs. The Jollyville Plateau salamander lives in the Jollyville Plateau and Brushy Creek areas of the Edwards Plateau in Travis and Williamson counties.

Mural Project Background
The Endangered Species Mural Project has installed 18 murals in public spaces around the country. The project aims to celebrate local endangered species and encourage people to make connections between conservation and community strength.

Other murals already in place include borderland species such as the Mexican wolf and ocelot in El Paso; a blue whale in Los Angeles; a monarch butterfly in Minneapolis; a jaguar in Tucson; and grizzly bears in Oakland.

Salamander mural

Salamander image by Roger Peet. This image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

www.biologicaldiversity.org

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