Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund
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Wildlife Conservation Fund-- Talking Points
These talking points were developed to provide some information regarding the Wildlife Conservation Fund. There are many resources available regarding the importance of biodiversity, so commercial content should not be limited to only what is on this page.
Goals/Objectives of the Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund
- To maintain the diversity and abundance of Nebraska’s wildlife and their habitats
- To preserve or increase populations of Nebraska’s endangered and threatened species of wildlife and plants so they can be de-listed
- To recover declining species populations to prevent additional threatened and endangered species listings
- To broaden and promote public support and appreciation for maintaining and enhancing our wildlife diversity
- To build the resiliency of Nebraska’s ecosystems by enhancing the habitat that wildlife need to survive and thrive.
The Wildlife Conservation Fund
- The NGPC receives most of its state funding for wildlife from license fees collected from hunters. By law, these funds can not be used on projects targeted at nongame species. This makes the Wildlife Conservation Fund one of the state’s primary sources of state funding for monitoring, researching, managing and conserving the vast majority of our wildlife.
- In most instances, donations made to the nongame tax check-off program are used to leverage federal funds, which double or triple their value. Without these funds, we would be unable to secure outside grants.
- Nongame wildlife is approximately 95% of Nebraska’s species (those not hunted, trapped or fished).
- Funds collected through this program are critically important to nongame conservation in Nebraska.
- General tax revenue does not support projects or conservation actions
- Fund was initiated in 1984
- All contributions to the fund are tax-deductible
- Ways to donate:
- 1. Income tax form check-off box, any or all of one’s refund can be directed to the Fund,
- A check can be sent directly to the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
- Donations can be made with a credit card online: Nebraskawildlifefund.org
- The check-off program is identified by the peregrine falcon logo on your state income tax return.
- Funds are used to help those that are threatened and endangered, and many other species.
- Funding goes to native species only, or those species that naturally occur in Nebraska rather than those that were brought here by people
- By improving habitat for nongame species, many game species will benefit as well.
Why should people care about wildlife?
- Wildlife is important because there is scientific knowledge we can gain from our wildlife to enhance society, they serve as an environmental barometer (their response to environmental change indicates that we should be aware of a changing environment), aesthetic value, recreational value.
- Wildlife is part of our heritage – once it’s gone, it will never come back
- Prairies are the most endangered ecosystems on our planet, and Nebraska historically was almost all prairie.
- In 2006 in Nebraska, nearly half a million folks participated in wildlife-watching and spent $140,000,000 in Nebraska watching wildlife.
- Nongame includes most of the wildlife someone will encounter taking a walk in the woods, riding your bike on a trail, going fishing or hunting, in your backyard, or just getting outdoors
- Less than 5% of Nebraska’s wildlife are game species, or species that people hunt or fish
- Some bats eat 1/3 of their weight per night in mosquitoes
- insects pollinate many of our plants and crops
- snakes provide great rodent control
- Nutrient cycling
What can you do for wildlife in your area?
- Contribute to the Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund
- Volunteer for helping out on field projects and surveys
- The diversity of wildlife in Nebraska shaped by it being a crossroads of east meeting west and north meeting south
- Birds: 400 species in Nebraska
- Nebraska is a migratory corridor going through the central USA
- Nowhere else on globe do 500,000 sandhill cranes gather during their migration north to breed
- Missouri River woodlands are major migratory route for woodland birds (e.g. warblers, vireos, flycatchers), and Missouri River bluffs (e.g. near Council Bluffs) provide important route for Midwestern hawks, eagles, falcons, and vultures
- Mammals: 95 species in Nebraska
- Insects: 10s of thousands
- 5th highest butterfly diversity of any state in the country, or more butterfly species than 90% of the states in this country
- The salt creek tiger beetle is found only in Nebraska
- Reptiles and amphibians: 62 species
- Nebraska is important for the Blandings turtle, yellow mud turtle, and the ornate box turtle
- Fish: 80 species
- Nebraska Plants: 1,470 species