on Apr 14, 2014 08:17 AM • Views 3324

License plate designs must include native N.C. nongame species, with a special preference for the marbled salamander, top photo, or the Pine Barrens treefrog, both of which are official state amphibians. Photos by Jeff Hall.

Media Contact: Jodie B. Owen

GREENSBORO, N.C. (April 11, 2014) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro have extended the deadline for their license plate contest to May 15, 2014. The contest, which was conceived by UNC-G’s Academic Think Tank, will produce a new license plate design for the Commission’s Wildlife Diversity Program.

The contest’s original April 15 deadline fell within UNC-G’s academic school year, but was extended to give participants more time to develop compelling images to replace the current image of a northern cardinal sitting on a dogwood blossom.

“The contest has generated a lot of excitement and participation, but we also have been hearing from the public that the original deadline was too constraining,” said Ann Berry Somers, Senior Lecturer in Biology at UNC-G. “Though the students coordinating this project will have finished the semester by the new May 15 deadline, they will not abandon the project I'm sure.”

Sales of the wildlife diversity license plate generate about $10 per plate — an annual total average of about $19,000 each year — for the Commission’s Wildlife Diversity Program, which conducts research, conservation and monitoring work that benefits nongame wildlife such as songbirds, sea turtles, eagles, salamanders, frogs, turtles and bats. Vehicles and trailers sporting wildlife diversity license plates also help publicize the importance of wildlife conservation in North Carolina.

The contest is open to anyone but minors must submit parental permission with their entries. Contest guidelines are:

  • No more than five colors can be used for the design.

  • The design must include any nongame species that is native to North Carolina, with a special preference for the marbled salamander or the Pine Barrens treefrog, both of which are official state amphibians.

  • The design also may include a native plant with the native nongame species and both must be found together in the wild.

  • The design must fit within the parameters indicated on the third page of the Art Contest: Design a License Plate! PDF.

Entries must be submitted electronically and are due by May 15, 2014. When submitting entries, entrants should include the following information: first and last name, phone number, mailing address, species used, and medium used. Entries should be emailed to: UNCGThinkTank2014@yahoo.com.

From the contest entries submitted, five designs will be selected and brought before the N.C. Nongame Wildlife Advisory Committee for consideration. The committee, which serves in an advisory role to the Commission, then will select one design to submit to the Wildlife Commissioners as its official recommendation. After a new license plate design is selected by Commissioners, the agency will promote and market it to replace the current license plate. An official action to change the current plate design requires final approval from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

More information, as well as additional guidelines, can be found on the Art Contest: Design a License Plate! PDF.

For more information about wildlife conservation and nongame species in North Carolina, visit the Commission’s Conserving page.