on Feb 05, 2010 12:00 AM • Views 3412

RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 5, 2010) — Check line No. 29 on your North Carolina state income tax form this tax season and help conserve sea turtles, freshwater mussels and fish, songbirds, amphibians, and other nongame species whose conservation is not supported by hunting and fishing license sales and excise taxes. 

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission uses tax check-off donations to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund to support nongame wildlife research, conservation and management, such as monitoring the population of Bachman’s sparrows and bald eagles, managing habitat to benefit ephemeral pool-breeding amphibians like gopher frogs and mole salamanders, conducting research and surveys for rare fishes and freshwater mussels, and developing the North Carolina Birding Trail. 

Tax check-off donations are the largest and most significant source of state funding for the Commission’s Wildlife Diversity Program and are used to match federal and private grants that require state funds.

“There is no general fund appropriation for wildlife diversity funding in North Carolina, and those who contribute to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund are the folks making investments for the future of wildlife conservation in our state,” said Chris McGrath, Wildlife Diversity Program coordinator. “Contributors to the fund are making it possible for us to match grants that we receive to manage and sustain wildlife populations. In these difficult economic times, every contribution is critical to our ability to match these grants.   

“Contributions to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund are the way for North Carolinians to show their commitment to sustaining and providing for enjoyment of our wildlife heritage now and into the future.”

Tax season isn’t the only time to give to wildlife. Other ways to help North Carolina’s wildlife and their habitats year-round are: 

Projects supported through the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund address the challenges faced by more than 1,000 animals and their associated habitats across the state. A few projects that Commission biologists are conducting currently include:

  • An ephemeral pool-management project to restore and enhance habitat for amphibians that breed in temporary pools, such as the gopher frog;
  • Sea turtle nesting and stranding volunteer networks. Commission biologists coordinate hundreds of volunteers annually to patrol North Carolina’s beaches for sea turtle nests and stranded sea turtles. The information collected is used to assess overall sea turtle populations, seek measures to reduce threats to sea turtle populations, and provide support for recommendations to minimize impacts upon sea turtles from human activities in their habitat.
  • Development and statewide implementation of the Green Growth Toolbox. This project provides developers, planners and local governments the tools they need to direct development that conserves important wildlife habitats and provides wildlife enthusiasts with areas they can go to connect with nature and view a rich diversity of wildlife — from songbirds to bats to wild turkeys.
  • Population monitoring for Hellbenders and mudpuppies. To plan conservation activities for these giant salamanders, biologists must first determine their distribution within the state. They, along with conservation partners, are surveying rivers in western North Carolina for these aquatic animals, as well as dozens of other species for which there is a lack of basic status information.
  • Freshwater mussel surveys statewide. Freshwater mussels are one of our best indicators of water quality — healthy mussel populations are found in healthy waters. Commission biologists work with other state, federal and private agencies to monitor freshwater mussels and protect the water quality that is critical for their survival, as well as ours. 

For more information about these and other projects, click here.

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About N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
Since 1947, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state's fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use, and public input. The Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities. To learn more, visit www.ncwildlife.org.

Get N.C. Wildlife Update – news including season dates, bag limits, legislative updates and more – delivered to your Inbox from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Go to www.ncwildlife.org/enews.