Media Contact: Jodie B. Owen, Public Information Officer
RALEIGH, N.C. (April 7, 2011) — With April 18 fast approaching, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding taxpayers to remember wildlife when filling out their North Carolina State Income tax form this year.
By checking line No. 30 on their tax forms and donating a portion of their tax refunds, North Carolina citizens can help conserve the state’s wildlife and their habitats, whether they love to hunt, fish, photograph wildlife, or watch birds in their own backyards.
Songbirds, fish, bats, salamanders, frogs and turtles all benefit from tax check-off donations to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission uses Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund donations to support the research, conservation and management of animals that are not hunted and fished. Because nongame projects are not funded through state tax money, check-off donations provide the largest and most significant source of funding for these projects. Additionally, every dollar in tax donations given to the fund, is matched with federal and other grants, so donated dollars actually count twice.
A few of the projects supported by tax check-off donations include:
- Monitoring the status of songbird populations across the state through bird-banding efforts (video) that provide information about bird productivity and survival;
- Conducting a coast-wide colonial waterbird census to assess population trends for herons, egrets, terns and other coast birds;
- Monitoring bat populations as the deadly White-nose syndrome continues to spread across Western North Carolina;
- Restoring fish and mussel species to the Pigeon and Cheoah rivers; and
- Surveying for rare fish in the Pee Dee River.
“North Carolina has one of the highest diversities of aquatic nongame species, such as crayfish, fish and freshwater mussels in North America,” said Todd Ewing, Aquatic Diversity Supervisor for the Commission. “Because of donations to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund, we are able to conduct projects that protect these species and conserve this unique part of North Carolina’s natural heritage.”
Online tax preparation software, such as TurboTax, does not have numbered lines so 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 annual reports, is available on the Commission’s website, www.ncwildlife.org.