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Section 10 on your IL Tax Return! The Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund

Ann Holtrop, Acting Chief
Division of Natural Heritage
phone: 217-785-8774
fax: 217-785-2438
email: DNR.SpecialFunds@illinois.gov

Click on the image above to learn more about the Step into the Wild button

Support the Wildlife Preservation Fund (YouTube Video)

On September 17, 1983, the Illinois legislature passed the Illinois Non-Game Wildlife Protection Act and established the Non-Game Wildlife Conservation Fund. In 1986 this fund was renamed the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund. The General Assembly amended the Non-Game Wildlife Protection Act in 1987 to include native plants. The act was again amended in 2005 to insure a portion of the yearly donations would assist in the maintenance of wildlife rehabilitation facilities that take care of threatened or endangered species.

Wildlife and native plants are an integral part of the web of life that sustains humans in Illinois. Non-game species are wild species which can not be legally taken for sport, fur, food, or profit. Non-game wildlife is defined by the Non-Game Wildlife Protection Act as: "...protected wildlife and wildlife of specialized habitats - both terrestrial and aquatic types and mollusks, crustaceans, and other invertebrates under the jurisdiction of the Department of Natural Resources". The vast majority of all rare and endangered species such as the magnificent bald eagle and the Grass Pink Orchid are termed non-game. These species and the many other non-game species of Illinois thrill the senses of quiet observers and enrich all our lives.

The General Assembly declared that "non-game wildlife have need of special protection and that it is in the public interest to preserve, protect, perpetuate and enhance non-game wildlife and native plant resources of this State through preservation of a satisfactory environment and an ecological balance." The Act provides a means by which such protection may be financed through a voluntary check-off designation on State income tax return forms. All donations to the fund must be used to assist non-game wildlife and native plants in Illinois.

Each individual taxpayer required to file a State income tax return may contribute to the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund by stating the amount of such contribution (not less than $1) on the return under the section titled Donations. Grass Pink Orchid Photographer: B. Johnson

The amount of the donation will be deducted from the tax refund (if the taxpayer is due a refund) or will be added to the amount of tax owed. Other direct Donations may also be made to the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund, by sending a check to:

Office of Resource Conservation
Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, Illinois 62702-1271


Much of the responsibility for ensuring the continued existence of these wild species lies with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Natural Heritage. In turn, our ability to truly secure a future for these non-game species depends on the support and involvement of Illinois citizens.

In the 23 years of the program, a combined total of over 900 projects have been funded throughout the state through check-off donations totaling over $4.8 million.

Wildlife habitat enhancement and research initiatives approved for funding by the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund Advisory Committee focus on protecting endangered and threatened species and educating Illinois school children and citizens about the importance of resource conservation.

Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund

By providing necessary research on specific species, completing inventories of flora and fauna at certain sites, funding outdoor educational programs, and supplying management to our declining natural areas, this fund is an asset to the present and future citizens of our great state.

This is accomplished using two funding methods. The Large Project Program and the Grant Program. The Large Project Program encompasses a much larger scope of project than the Grant Program. It’s funding level begins at $2,000 and must have the sponsorship of a representative of the Office of Resource Conservation. Generally, this program is reserved for non-game wildlife research projects the DNR determines are necessary.

The Grant Program is open to any person who would like to submit a proposal for a project involving Management, Site Inventory, or for Educational purposes.

Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund - Maintenance of Wildlife Rehabilitation Facilities That Take Care of Threatened or Endangered Species

This portion of the program is designed to keep wildlife rehabilitation facilities that take care of threatened or endangered (T & E) species in a state of good repair necessary to provide safe and sanitary conditions for threatened or endangered species being cared for in the facility and for facility staff. Structural repair and maintenance of existing buildings, pens, cages and appurtenant facilities used in the diagnosis and treatment of injury to or illness of T & E wildlife species, and payment of costs for utilities needed to assure the soundness of facilities that take care of T & E species.

This is achieved by using a Grant Program as well. Grants will be established at $2,000 or less and are limited to those persons who possess a current wildlife rehabilitation license/permit issued by the Department and who have provided care to T & E wildlife species during the 3-year period proceeding the date of their application.

Who Administers these Programs

Contributions to the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund are administered by the Director of the Department of Natural Resources through the Office of Resource Conservation, Division of Natural Heritage. The Wildlife Preservation Fund Advisory Committee assists the Division of Natural Heritage in the development of a project recommendation list for the Director.

The Division of Natural Heritage is charged with administering approved projects and with making technical recommendations to the Advisory Committee. These Funds are governed by Administrative Rule set forth in 17 Ill. Adm. Code 3060, a copy of which can be found at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/adrules.

Wildlife Preservation Links

 Donating to Non-game Wildlife
 Endangered Species Protection Board (ESPB)
  Step into the Wild Buttons
  Application deadline was April 1

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