Vermonters interested in helping conserve wildlife should consider donating to the Non-game Wildlife Fund on line 29 of their Vermont income tax form this tax season. The fund helps conserve some of Vermont’s most threatened wildlife species such as bald eagles, lynx, and bats.
Donations are leveraged by a match from a federal grant, meaning that a $50 donation brings up to $150 to Vermont wildlife conservation. This has helped recovery efforts for Vermont’s bat species that were recently hit with a devastating fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome. These donations also help conserve declining pollinators such as butterflies, beetles and bees, which are critically important to agriculture and ecology.
Biologist Steve Parren manages non-game wildlife projects for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. He works on the recovery of Vermont’s rare turtle species, including the state endangered spiny softshell turtle. Parren 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.
“The Nongame Wildlife Fund has been responsible for some of the great conservation success stories in Vermont,” said Parren. “Thanks to the generous donations of thousands of Vermonters, we are working to restore many of the iconic species of our Green Mountain State.”
Past donations to the Non-game Wildlife Fund have helped recover peregrine falcons, osprey, and loons in Vermont. “It’s clear that Vermonters care deeply about wildlife,” said John Buck, a 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.”