Center for Biological Diversity

Media Advisory, February 7, 2019

Contact:  Roger Peet, (503) 753-7027, toosphexy@gmail.com
Laiken Jordahl, (928) 525-4433, ljordahl@biologicaldiversity.org   

Endangered Species Mural to Be Celebrated Feb. 11 in Yuma

Sonoran Desert Species Featured in National Project

YUMA, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Arizona Western College will celebrate the unveiling Monday of the 20th installment in the Center’s national Endangered Species Mural Project.

The 76-foot by 22-foot mural features two Sonoran Desert species, the Sonoran pronghorn and the Yuma clapper rail. The mural is being painted on the wall of the college’s theater building by artist Roger Peet and Phoenix-based muralist Lucinda Hinojos, with help from students at the college.

“These desert-dwelling animals are as beautiful as they are resilient,” said artist Roger Peet, project coordinator. “But they face the mounting threats of global warming and habitat loss, and they need our help. It’s our hope that a huge mural at this respected school will inspire people to protect these incredible animals and their desert habitat, before it’s too late.”

“We feel really fortunate that local art supporters – the McKivergan family – chose AWC as the host site when they decided to bring this public art series to Yuma. This project echoes the multi-faceted service a comprehensive community college tries to provide. It’s a fine arts interpretation of a critical issue in environmental science that impacts the larger world,” said Dr. Daniel P. Corr, Arizona Western College president.

What: Endangered Species Mural Project public celebration. Artists will be available for interviews at the site this week and at the celebration. Center and college staff also will be available for interviews.  

When: Monday, Feb. 11, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Arizona Western College, 2020 S. Ave. 8 E, Yuma, east side of the Theatre Building

Species Background
The fastest land animal on the continent, the Sonoran pronghorn once roamed freely in vast herds. Due to severe drought, habitat degradation and other disturbances, the U.S. population dwindled to a mere 25 individuals in 2002. Thanks to protection under the Endangered Species Act and collaboration between the Center, other conservation groups and federal agencies, there are more than 160 Sonoran pronghorn and the population appears to be increasing.

The Yuma clapper rail, a small cattail-dwelling marsh bird, is a bellwether for the health of desert waterways. Protected in 1967 by the Endangered Species Act, this shy water bird nests in freshwater marshes along the Colorado and Gila rivers in Arizona and the Salton Sea in California. Threats to the Yuma clapper rail include drought and water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, and habitat loss from development.

Mural Project Background

The Endangered Species Mural Project has installed 19 murals in public spaces around the country. The project collaborates with artists, scientists, and organizers to celebrate local endangered species and encourage the public 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, Texas; a blue whale in Los Angeles; a monarch butterfly in Minneapolis; a jaguar in Tucson, Ariz.; and grizzly bears in Oakland, Calif.

Learn more on our website. 

Yuma endangered species mural, in progress

The mural in progress. Photo by Roger Peet. This image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

www.biologicaldiversity.org

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