For Immediate Release - February 24, 2015

Massachusetts Wildlife Officials Encourage Citizens to Invest in Endangered Species Conservation

BOSTON – Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) encourages Massachusetts taxpayers to invest in endangered wildlife and plants by donating to the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Fund (Line 32a). All donations go to the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Fund, a critical funding source for the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP). Taxpayers can contribute to the Fund when filling out their state tax returns.

“The Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program is the first line of defense for the Massachusetts’ most vulnerable plants and animals,” said DFG Commissioner George Peterson. “I strongly encourage taxpayers to support the fund as it will help us protect these valuable and endangered resources.”

Some of the success stories behind the work of the NHESP include the recovery of bald eagles and peregrine falcons. In 1989, there were four pairs of eagles living in the state and the first wild eagle chicks hatched. Currently, there are at least 40 pairs of eagles with over 480 chicks leaving the nests since 1989. In that same time period, there were there were two pairs of peregrine falcons, which increased to 31 pairs.

While Massachusetts has made considerable progress, more than 425 plants and animals are recognized as rare in the Commonwealth, from the beautiful Plymouth Gentian of Coastal Plain ponds on Cape Cod, to Blanding’s Turtles found solely in the eastern half of the state, the Midland Clubtail dragonfly of the Connecticut River and the Nodding Pogonia orchid of the Berkshires. These rare creatures and plants are important indicators of intact, complex, functioning ecosystems and natural communities.

Supporting the fund will help accomplish NHESP’s and the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s missions of conserving, restoring, protecting and managing the state’s biodiversity for the benefit and enjoyment of the Commonwealth.

The donation option can be found on Line 32a of the 2014 state income tax return. More information about the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Fund can be found at www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/saving-our-natural-heritage.html. Contributions can also be made directly by sending a check payable to the “Commonwealth of MA: NHESP” to:

MA Division of Fisheries & Wildlife
Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Fund
1 Rabbit Hill Road
Westborough, MA 01581

DFG is responsible for promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the Commonwealth's natural resources. DFG carries out this mission through land protection and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and marine fish and wildlife species and ecological restoration of fresh water, salt water and terrestrial habitats. DFG promotes enjoyment of the Massachusetts environment through outdoor skills workshops, fishing festivals and other educational programs and by enhancing access to the Commonwealth's rivers, lakes and coastal waters.

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