Consider making a donation to the Wildlife Fund with your 2015 taxes
MONTPELIER — Vermonters with an interest in conserving wildlife should consider making a donation to the Nongame Wildlife Fund on line 29a of their state income tax form this tax season. The fund helps to conserve some of Vermont’s most threatened wildlife species such as bald eagles, lynx and turtles, in addition to helping many of the state’s imperiled pollinators such as butterflies and bees.
Past donations to the Nongame Wildlife Fund have helped recover peregrine falcons, osprey and loons in Vermont. They have also helped recovery efforts for Vermont’s bat species that were recently hit with a devastating fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome.
The donations are leveraged by a match from a federal grant, meaning that a $50 donation brings up to $150 to wildlife conservation in Vermont.
“The Nongame Wildlife Fund has been responsible for some of the great conservation success stories in Vermont,” said biologist Steve Parren, who manages nongame wildlife projects for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. “Thanks to the generous donations of thousands of Vermonters, we are working to restore many of the iconic species of our Green Mountain State.”
Parren works on the recovery of Vermont’s rare turtle species, including the state endangered spiny softshell turtle. He monitors and protects the turtle’s nests, and each winter he raises dozens of baby turtles in his own living room before releasing them back into Lake Champlain in the spring.
“It’s clear that Vermonters care deeply about wildlife,” said John Buck, a state wildlife biologist who works to recover the state’s endangered bird species. “These donations demonstrate that the people of our state share a strong commitment to conservation.”
In 2015, Vermont added three bumblebee species to the state’s endangered species list, amid nationwide concerns about the decline of pollinator species. Bees, moths and butterflies are responsible for pollinating everything from farm crops to the trees in the forest, but many of these species are in decline lately due in part to the use of pesticides. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is working to protect pollinators with financial support from the Nongame Wildlife Fund.