Georgia’s wildlife and natural habitats don’t depend on St. Nick.
Conserving these wild creatures and wild places depends largely on you, the Georgians who enjoy them.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Nongame Conservation Section is charged with conserving endangered and other native animals that are not legally fished for or hunted, as well as rare plants and natural habitats. This vital mission involving hundreds of species of conservation concern is primarily funded by public contributions, fundraisers and grants.
During this season of giving, consider giving to conserve Georgia wildlife. Here are four easy ways:
- Buy or renew an eagle or hummingbird license plate. Many Georgians don’t know that sales and annual renewals of these attractive tags are the No. 1 fundraiser for the Georgia Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund, which was created to conserve rare and other nongame animals, plants and habitats. Many also don’t know that a law change this year reduced the price of DNR wildlife tags to only $25 more than a standard plate and increased the amount dedicated to wildlife. Upgrade to a wild tag for only $25 and show your support!
- When preparing your taxes, give to the Wildlife Conservation Fund state income tax checkoff. The Give Wildlife a Chance checkoff made up 10 percent of contributions to the fund this year.
- Contribute directly to the Wildlife Fund. Donations are deductible to the extent allowed by law.
- Join TERN, the Nongame Conservation Section’s friends group. The Environmental Resources Network (www.tern.homestead.com) has provided more than $1 million for nongame work.
From bog turtles in North Georgia to shorebirds on the coast and from pitcherplant bogs to sandhills scrub, Georgia’s nongame wildlife and natural habitats “enhance our quality of life,” said Nongame Conservation Section Chief Jon Ambrose.
These creatures and places also enhance our economy. In 2011, wildlife watchers spent an estimated $1.8 billion in Georgia, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey. More than 2.2 million state residents 16 or older spent time observing, photographing or feeding wildlife.
“Conservation of these species and their habitats is made possible by the generosity of Georgia’s citizens,” Ambrose said.
Explore options, including memorial and other gifts, at www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/support. Or call the Nongame Conservation Section at (770) 761-3035 or (478) 994-1438. Learn more about the agency’s nongame work at www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/AnnualReport.
4 WAYS TO GIVE TO WILDLIFE
- Buy or renew an eagle or hummingbird license plate. Upgrade for only $25 and show your support!
- Give through the Georgia Wildlife Conservation Fund state income tax checkoff.
- Contribute directly to the Wildlife Conservation Fund.
- Join TERN, the DNR Nongame Conservation Section’s friends group.
- Details on these and other options at www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/support.