New Kidsplanet.org Site Offers a World of Wildlife Activities for Youth & Educators

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(10/13/1999) - Defenders of Wildlife today launched a new educational website at www.kidsplanet.org to provide useful information for teachers and students on wildlife and habitat. Visitors to the site can view pictures of endangered animals, hear animal sounds, enjoy interactive games, and take individual actions to save animals and the special places they live.

"Through Kids’ Planet, we seek to educate the next generation about the loss of wildlife and habitat they face during their lifetimes," said Rodger Schlickeisen, President of Defenders of Wildlife. "Eminent scientists warn that one-fourth of all plants and animals could be extinct or doomed to eventual extinction by the year 2050. It will be up to today’s youth to stop this massive extinction."

In the Web of Life, a spider explains what biodiversity means and how all life is interdependent on this planet. "Polls have repeatedly shown that few Americans understand what the loss of biodiversity means," said Marie Jorgensen, Youth Communications Specialist at Defenders of Wildlife. "Through a visit to kidsplanet.org, we’re hopeful that more and more students will better understand biodiversity loss and how they can help stop it."

Endangered species are featured on the Kids’ Planet website. Teachers and students can download fact sheets about these animals that are arranged according to the continents they inhabit. Kids can download and color illustrations by artist Nancy Waller depicting animals listed under the Endangered Species Act. The site also contains a bibliography to help students complete school projects. In Wild Games kids can play Animal Concentration, solve animal picture puzzles, learn how to use a computer mouse by animating insects, and match animal sounds with the correct animal.

Through Defend It! youth can take various actions to save wildlife and habitat. These actions include writing a letter to save the lives of the Yellowstone wolves, buying products using recycled materials, and improving their neighborhoods to help wildlife.

Kidsplanet.org was made possible through supporters of Defenders of Wildlife including the Lloyd Symington Memorial Fund for Wildlife Education. Symington was a co-founder of Defenders of Wildlife and a lifetime conservationist. The purpose of the memorial fund is to strengthen Defenders’ ability to educate schoolchildren and teachers on wildlife issues.

Kidsplanet.org was designed and programmed by Tanya Bub, consulting web designer. The design includes many colorful features appealing to kids – such as navigation beacons in the forms of an elephant, wolf, dolphin, eagle, koala, octopus, orangatan, and panda.

Kidsplanet.org is the second website created by Defenders of Wildlife. Defenders’ main site at www.defenders.org consists of detailed information on a variety of conservation issues, including animals such as the Yellowstone wolf and Florida black bear, habitat such as the Everglades, and a number of national parks. The site also features Shop for Wildlife, an online shopping mall that includes stores such as Amazon.com, eToys, and J. C. Penney. Back issues of Defenders magazine are available for viewing as well as press releases. Information is also provided about what actions people can take to help protect the environment and how to contact their representatives or senators. Defenders is a nonprofit conservation organization with more than 360,000 members and supporters nationwide.

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Contact(s):

Cat Lazaroff, (202) 772-3270