Media Advisory, June 7, 2022

Contact:

Roger Peet, artist, (503) 753-7027, toosphexy@gmail.com

Selkirk’s Piping Plover Mural Highlights Endangered Species

Celebration Slated for June 15 as Mural Joins Dozens More Across North America

SELKIRK, Manitoba— The Center for Biological Diversity and Interlake Art Board will host a community event on June 15 to celebrate a new mural of the piping plover, an endangered shorebird that summers in Canada and the northern United States before flying south for the winter.

The large, 130-feet-by-12-feet painting will be the latest installment of the Center’s endangered species mural project, which highlights imperiled plants and animals to help build public support for ending extinction.

Who: The celebration will feature artist Roger Peet, who coordinates the Center’s mural project; Joan English, board president of Interlake Art Board; Elder Ruth Christie, a recipient of the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada; Jared Whelan from Manitoba Wildlands; Ed Neveux, conservationist and Indigenous representative of the Canadian Armed Forces; a representative from the Minister of Indigenous Affairs Office; and a representative from the city of Selkirk.

What: Piping plover community mural unveiling and reception

Where: Mural at 439 Main St, Selkirk MB (Big Dollar Building)

Reception at the Gwen Fox Gallery, 250 Manitoba Ave, Selkirk MB

When: Painting daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. beginning on June 6

Celebration at mural site on Wednesday, June 15 3:30 – 4 p.m.

Reception at Gwen Fox Gallery on June 15 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

“I’m really looking forward to working with local artists to paint this big mural in downtown Selkirk,” said endangered species mural project coordinator Roger Peet. “Plovers are beautiful birds, and they deserve our protection. It’s a pleasure to be able to paint such a charismatic and charming species. Our goal with each mural is to help people connect to the species who make their local areas unique. This mural is exciting, our very first in Canada.”

“The Interlake Art Board is honored to be a part of this amazing Endangered Species Mural Project. This project will not only create awareness regarding endangered species, but it will also support and strengthen our community by promoting the arts and advancing education and public appreciation for both the arts and the plover," said Joan English, board president of the Interlake Art Board.

The Center’s endangered species mural project has now installed dozens of murals across North America. These include a mountain caribou in Sandpoint, Idaho, a jaguar and aplomado falcon in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and monarch butterflies in Minneapolis.

The project is spearheaded by artist Roger Peet, based in Portland, Oregon, who teams up with local artists and community groups to bring larger-than-life endangered species to public spaces to increase appreciation for the regional biodiversity that makes places special. The project aims to celebrate local endangered species and encourage people to make connections between conservation and community strength.

Species Background

Piping plovers are small, stocky shorebirds that scurry along ocean and lake shores in the Great Plains, Great Lakes and Atlantic Coast. They have large eyes, stubby bills, and orange legs, and during breeding season develop well-defined black collars.

First protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1985, the birds are threatened by habitat loss, predation, and disturbance by motorized vehicles and dogs. Piping plovers spend summers in Canada and the northern United States before heading south to winter in southern U.S. states, Mexico and the Caribbean.

RSNorthern_Great_Plains_piping_plover_Steven_Tucker_USFWS_FPWC
Northern Great Plains piping plover. Credit: Steven Tucker / USFWS. Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.