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A Scare Tactic

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This Halloween, some children will leave their Dracula costumes and skeleton suits in the closet to dress up as something truly frightening--an endangered species.

Greenpeace International is urging schoolchildren to don the guises of vanishing species as part of its Help Save the Earth campaign.

Using its P3 newsletter, which is distributed to thousands of schools nationwide, the group has signed up children to dress up as mountain lions, sharp-eyed falcons, and gray wolfs to publicize the plight of endangered creatures and to educate budding environmentalists about "Planet 3.''

"Kids are passionate about their planet, and this will give them a chance to be an active part of the solution,'' says Jackie Kaufman, the director of the P3 program. Ms. Kaufman envisions trick-or-treaters lobbying their neighbors to support next year's reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act as they load up on goodies.

The P3 newsletter chronicles the plight of gray whales being threatened by pollution, sea turtles that are drowning in shrimp-boat nets, and Stellar sea lions that are endangered by oil spills.

"If animals in the U.S.A. could dial, they'd call 911,'' exclaims the newsletter, which comes equipped with a cutout mask of a gray wolf on the cover for an instant consciousness-raising costume.--J.P.

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