What is the Nongame Wildlife Fund?
The Nongame Wildlife Fund, coordinated by the Natural Heritage Unit, assists with the goals of MDNR Wildlife by identifying, protecting, managing and restoring Michigan's biological diversity. It is responsible for initiating, developing and implementing critical projects vital to the needs of Michigan's endangered, threatened and nongame animals, plants and their habitats.
Since 1983, over $10 million has been raised for these important management efforts through voluntary check-off contributions on the state income tax form, sales of specialty license plates, and by direct donations. Six million of that $10 dollars has been placed in a permanent trust, and interest from that trust will continue to support threatened and endangered species well into the future.
The Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund is responsible for:
- restoring Trumpeter swans to their historic wetland areas;
- reintroducing the Peregrine falcon;
- implementing the Michigan Frog and Toad Survey;
- helping the wolf population through monitoring and education;
- establishing over 120 watchable wildlife viewing sites;
- relocating osprey to expand their range in Michigan;
- surveying abandoned mines to protect bat wintering sites;
- identifying rare plant sites; and
- generating an active educational outreach effort.
Since April 2, 2001, Michigan residents have had a new opportunity to support the goals of the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund through the purchase of a Michigan Wildlife Habitat plate.
The new Michigan Wildlife Habitat plate costs $35 initially, with $25 going directly to the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund and $10 to the Secretary of State. The plate costs an additional $10 every year thereafter, which goes entirely to the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund. All funds donated to the Fund are used for management of nongame animals and plants, including endangered and threatened species, and their habitats. This full color license plate features a loon and chick in a wetland setting. Listed as threatened in Michigan, the loon population is in peril due to increasing lakeshore development, disturbance from lake activity and certain fishing practices.
The Natural Heritage Unit is excited about this new funding source. We expect it to increase our ability to help manage Michigan's unique natural resources. Our goal is to maintain the existing resources and to assure that future generations will enjoy and appreciate the wonders of Michigan. You will be able to order your loon plate from the Michigan Secretary of State's office or on-line.
Thank you for your support!