After years of absence, common loons, peregrine falcons and ospreys are now nesting again in Vermont, and their numbers are increasing. In fact, they have done so well, they are no longer listed as endangered or threatened in Vermont. Their successful comeback can be credited to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department which is now seeking individual taxpayer help in supporting work on other species.
Many Vermont taxpayers have been contributing to the Nongame Wildlife Fund since 1986, when the fund was created to help pay for work done by biologists with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and its partners to manage and enhance wildlife species that are not hunted or fished.
“Contributions at tax time by Vermonters who care about protecting nongame species and their habitats are just as important today as when the program started,” said State Wildlife Biologist Steve Parren. “Contributions have totaled more than $100,000 each year, which helps keep this program successful.”
Wildlife is fortunate to have lots of support in Vermont where a survey shows 62 percent of residents actively enjoy wildlife one way or another. Vermonters were third only to Montana and Maine as participants in wildlife recreation. Activities include hunting, fishing, feeding birds, and observing or photographing wildlife.
“There remain many new challenges for wildlife conservation in Vermont,” added Parren, “including white-nose syndrome devastating our bat populations, increasing threats to our native freshwater mussel species, and concerns about fungal diseases that could impact our frogs.”
“Thanks to Vermont’s Nongame contribution line 29-a. on our state tax form, we also can be wildlife conservationists by giving to our Nongame Wildlife Fund at tax time. Look for the loon logo on your Vermont tax form, and do your part to help Vermont’s nongame wildlife,” said Parren.