Tax day is less than two weeks away and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is asking taxpayers to remember North Carolina’s wildlife this year when completing the state income tax form by making a donation on line 31.
Donations support the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund, which helps the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission conduct research, conservation and monitoring work that benefits animals not hunted or fished — animals such as songbirds, sea turtles, eagles, salamanders, frogs, turtles and bats.
The Commission uses donations to match federal and other grants or to pay for educational activities and wildlife-watching projects, such as the N.C. Birding Trail.
Donations made to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund make up the largest and most significant source of non-federal funding to help these animals, so donations are critical to the continuation of many projects.
Current work includes surveys to determine the abundance and distribution of species such as bog turtles in western North Carolina, red-cockaded woodpeckers in the Coastal Plain and Carolina gopher frogs in the Piedmont. Through surveys, biologists collect data that help them determine the most effective ways to manage wildlife and their habitats. This ensures species not only survive, but thrive, in a state where habitat continues to disappear at an alarming rate.
More than 1,000 nongame species are found in North Carolina. Many of them, such as robins, cardinals, treefrogs and green anoles, are common and can be found in many backyards, fields and woods. Others, such as sea turtles, Carolina northern flying squirrels and several bat species, are endangered and need conservation to prevent them from disappearing entirely from our state’s landscape.
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 that 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:
• Registering a vehicle or trailer with a N.C. Wildlife Conservation license plate;
• Donating online at www.ncwildlife.org/give;
More information about the Wildlife Diversity Program, including projects and quarterly reports, is available on the Commission’s Conserving page.