RALEIGH, N.C. (Jan. 26, 2017) — It’s tax season again and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is asking taxpayers to help conserve the state’s nongame and rare wildlife species by donating to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund.
By donating a portion of their state tax refund on line 30 of their state income tax form, wildlife enthusiasts will help fund projects that conserve nongame wildlife — birds, mammals, fish, mollusks, reptiles, amphibians and crayfish without a designated hunting or fishing season. Although tax check-off donations target projects benefiting nongame animals and their habitats, game species such as deer, turkey and bear also benefit because they live in many of these same habitats.
Since the fund’s inception in 1984, taxpayers have donated nearly $11 million to projects such as:
- Restoring wetlands on the Sandhills Game Land to help increase populations of gopher frogs, tiger salamanders and other pond-breeding amphibians;
- Erecting towers in Black Mountain to provide roosting sites for thousands of chimney swifts in the fall; and,
- Conducting mist-netting surveys of bats in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain to learn more about the abundance and distribution of bats, as well as the prevalence of white-nose syndrome in these areas.
Donations make up the largest and most significant source of non-federal funding to help these animals, so donations — no matter how small — are critical to the continuation of many projects.
“Any amount people contribute helps us to match federal and other grants, pay for educational activities and programs, such as the N.C. Birding Trail and Green Growth Toolbox, and conduct research on nongame and endangered animals,” said Allen Boynton, Wildlife Diversity Program coordinator with the Commission. “By matching grants, we can increase the dollars that are available to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund. A $100 donation results in at least an additional $185 that we can use to help protect these species.”
The Tar Heel state is home to more than 1,000 nongame species. Many of them, such as box turtles, green anoles and cardinals, are common and can be found in many backyards, fields and woods. Others, such as sea turtles, many freshwater mussel species and several bat species, are endangered or threatened and need conservation to prevent them from disappearing entirely from our state.
While paper tax forms show line 30 as the donation line, tax preparation software, such as TurboTax, does not have numbered lines, but e-filers will be asked if they would like to make a donation to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund. Other tax filers can also tell their tax preparer they would like to donate.
Tax season isn’t the only time or way to contribute to wildlife conservation. Other ways to help North Carolina’s wildlife and their habitats year-round are:
More information about the Wildlife Diversity Program, including projects and quarterly reports, is available on the Commission’s Conserving page.