Most folks wouldn't think of social media as an ideal way to connect with nature, but Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey has found a way to make it work.

A contest launched this month by the nonprofit encourages high school students to use their social media accounts — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to be specific — to advocate for an endangered or threatened species in New Jersey. For one week straight, registrants would plaster their accounts with original content or existing CWF content that highlights the vulnerable species they've picked.

In the end, cash prizes will be awarded to the three students who did the best job — $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place, provided by contest sponsor PSEG Foundation.

"It really is, surprisingly, a great way to get kids connected with nature and build a lifelong awareness and commitment to protecting nature," said David Wheeler, CWF Executive Director.

This is the fifth annual Species on the Edge 2.0 social media contest. Registration for this year's contest is open until February 28, and it's free. The prizes will be awarded at a ceremony in April.

There are more than 80 endangered and threatened species in the Garden State, but students can choose from a list of 15 species for the contest.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.