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Help care for rare wildlife and plantsCelebrating 40 years of protecting Wisconsin's natural heritage

Listen to WPR

Listen to DNR Endangered Resources Bureau Director Erin Crain on The Larry Meiller Show live from 11-11:45 Dec. 26 on these WPR Ideas Network stations or online. If you miss the show, you can still listen to the archives.

Fast Facts

Friends in need: About 1,800 native plants species and 657 native vertebrates species have been identified in Wisconsin. Many are at risk and more than 230 are officially listed as threatened or endangered.

Funding: Every year, private donations account for 25 percent to 40 percent of the funding to pay for work addressing endangered and declining species and manage State Natural Areas.

For every dollar citizens donate to the endangered resources fund by checking the line on their income tax form or by making a direct contribution, the State matches their donation dollar for dollar up to a total of $500,000.

The beneficiaries: Protecting and restoring Wisconsin's rare plant and animal species enables future generations to see and experience the state's natural heritage.

Nongame wildlife species and plants are a key part of Wisconsin's ecosystems and food and shelter for its game animals.

Fully 48 percent of Wisconsin adults 16 and older say they participate in wildlife watching activities and in 2011, wildlife watchers made $1.489 billion in direct expenditures in Wisconsin, benefitting state and local economies.

The results: Wisconsin has long been regarded as a leader in protecting and restoring native species. The state passed one of the nation's first endangered species laws and under its protections has restored bald eagles, osprey, trumpeter swans and other species to Wisconsin's landscape. Enjoy the slideshow for more success stories.

Donate to preserve rare Wisconsin species

Your gift to the Endangered Resources Fund helps preserve Wisconsin's priceless natural heritage. Donations benefit species from the common to the critically endangered, including bald eagles, calypso orchids, American martens and wood turtles. It also pays to help manage State Natural Areas, Wisconsin's finest remaining examples of prairies, forests and wetlands. Contributions are tax deductible.

Give to individual species

You can donate to the established funds listed below or to support specific species by simply noting how you want the funds used in the notes area on your check.

More ways to help

When you buy a special Endangered Resources license plate for your vehicle [exit DNR], your fee includes an annual $25 donation to the Endangered Resources Program.

Give to the Trumpeter Swan Fund and get field trips, newsletters and other gifts

Adopt an Eagle Nest and help ensure our national symbol flies in Wisconsin skies.

Check out these ER features

Enjoy our multi-media features celebrating the 40th anniversary of Wisconsin's endangered species.