Whether it’s the sight of a soaring osprey, the laugh of a common loon, or the thrilling beauty of a peregrine falcon, Vermont leads the nation in wildlife watching for good reason: we have wonderful wildlife all around us. Through the generosity of thousands of citizens at tax time and the efforts of Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department staff and partners, these extraordinary species have rebounded from their former threatened or endangered status in Vermont.

And, although still listed as a state endangered species, the bald eagle is also showing signs of a dramatic comeback in Vermont, with 15 nests documented in Vermont in 2012 and 23 eaglets fledged or leaving the nest to be on their own.

Your support makes it possible. By checking the Nongame Wildlife Fund box and making a donation right on your Vermont state income tax form, you can be part of this conservation success story.

“Vermonters care about protecting nongame species and their habitats just as much today as when the voluntary income tax check-off started in 1986,” said State Wildlife Biologist Steve Parren. “Each year they graciously donate nearly $100,000. These funds keep this program successful and allow future Vermonters to experience the wild populations we enjoy today.”

The Nongame Wildlife Fund was created to support work done by Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department biologists and its partners to manage and enhance wildlife species that are not hunted or fished.

Vermonters are clearly enthusiastic about this work. According to a recent report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Vermont is first in the nation in per-capita wildlife watching with 53 percent of us actively engaging in observing wildlife. But more work remains to be done.

“In addition to bald eagles, there are many new challenges for wildlife conservation in Vermont,” added Parren, “including fighting the white-nose syndrome devastating our bat populations.”

“Fortunately, we can all be wildlife conservationists at tax time, thanks to Vermont’s Nongame Wildlife Fund. Look for the loon logo on your Vermont tax form, and join with us to protect Vermont’s nongame wildlife.”

Nongame Wildlife Successes in 2012:

  • Peregrine falcons: 39 nests produced 60 young falcons.
  • Loons: 49 nesting pairs produced 87 chicks.
  • Eagles: 15 Vermont nests successfully fledged 23 eaglets.

Image courtesy Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

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