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A red-cockaded woodpecker has dinner outside its nesting cavity. Photo by USFWS.

Income tax check for wildlife

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Welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature.

Tax time approaches, and in North Carolina this provides an easy opportunity to support wildlife conservation.

Taxpayers can help conserve North Carolina’s nongame wildlife by donating a portion of their state income tax refund to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund by checking on line 30 of their state tax form. Nongame wildlife includes all the birds, mammals, fish, mollusks, reptiles, amphibians, and crayfish that do not have a designated hunting or fishing season.

The Commission uses the donations to support wildlife research, conservation and management, including monitoring populations of red-cockaded woodpeckers and peregrine falcons, managing bog turtle habitat, surveying for gopher frogs, developing captive breeding techniques for mussels, and for research and future restoration efforts.

Donations make up the largest and most significant source of non-federal funding to help these animals, so they’re critical to many projects. Current work includes surveys to determine the abundance and distribution of sea turtles along the coast, robust redhorse in the Piedmont, and golden eagles in the mountains. Through surveys, biologists collect data that help them determine the most effective ways to manage wildlife and their habitats, ensuring that species thrive in a state where habitat continues to disappear at an alarming rate.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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