Vt Fish & Wildlife Urges Vermonters to Remember Nongame Wildlife Fund Tax Checkoff
Posted on 03/23/2015
Spiny Softshell Turtle Sign

Media Contacts:   Steve Parren, 802-786-0098; John Buck 802-777-5773

Vt Fish & Wildlife Urges Vermonters to Remember Nongame Wildlife Fund Tax Checkoff

MONTPELIER, Vt. – 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 beloved wildlife species such as bald eagles, lynx, and turtles, in addition to helping the state’s bat populations which have recently been decimated by white-nosed syndrome. 

Past donations to the Nongame Wildlife Fund have helped recover peregrine falcons, osprey, and loons in Vermont.  The donations are leveraged by a match of federal funds, meaning that a $50 donation brings in more than $100 to wildlife conservation in Vermont. 

Vermonters can also contribute to the Nongame Wildlife Fund by purchasing conservation license plates, which have recently been updated with all new species, including a loon, a deer and a brook trout.

“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. 

Vermont Fish & Wildlife biologist John Buck works to recover the state’s threatened bird species.  He pointed out that thanks to support from the Nongame Wildlife Fund, 2014 was a record year for loon nests in Vermont, and that bald eagles have increased to a recent record of 26 nesting pairs statewide just over a decade after they first returned to Vermont.

“It’s clear that Vermonters care strongly about wildlife,” said Buck.  “These donations demonstrate that the people of our state share a strong commitment to conservation.”

The Nongame Wildlife Fund also helps to recover Vermont’s bats, which have been hit hard in the past decade by a new threat called white-nosed syndrome, resulting in threatened or endangered status for five out of Vermont’s nine bat species are now threatened or endangered as a result .  As the main predator of flying insects in the state, bats are vitally important to Vermont’s farmers to control pests, in addition to the benefit they provide to people who enjoy spending time in the outdoors without being harassed by swarms of biting bugs. 

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 Photo Caption: Steve Parren manages nongame wildlife projects for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife, including recovery efforts for Vermont’s rare turtle species.