bats at halloween

Tax Time….It’s for the birds!   And butterflies and frogs and turtles and….

Raise your hand if you know you can make a difference for Iowa’s wildlife on the state tax form.  There should be at least 7,500 of you with your hands in the air. That’s how many folks donated a bit or all of their state tax refund to the Fish and Wildlife Fund – affectionately called the Chickadee Check-off — on 2017 tax returns, translating to $145,000 in support of wildlife conservation in Iowa.

Since the 1980s, thousands of Iowans have supported Iowa wildlife by making donations when they prepare their taxes. Today, 100 percent of those dollars go to the state’s Wildlife Diversity Program, which protects non-game and vulnerable species through habitat development, data collection and research, education and much more.

Donating is easy. Simply enter your donation amount on the Fish and Wildlife Check-Off contribution line (usually between lines 55-59 on form 1040), and the sum is either automatically deducted from your refund or added to the amount owed. As with all charitable contributions, the dollars you donate are deductible from next year’s taxes.  Don’t forget to talk to your tax preparer if you have your taxes done professionally – many tax preparers forget to mention donation opportunities.

If every Iowa taxpayer donated just $1 on the Fish and Wildlife Check-off, it would mean $1.5 million for natural resource conservation!  So, if you’re able, take a moment this tax season to get a little wild and consider making a donation.  The 1000+ species of birds, butterflies, mammals, frogs, toads, turtles and dragonflies that call Iowa home will thank you.

All the money contributed through the chickadee check-off helps support the Wildlife Diversity Program at the Iowa DNR.  This program has statewide responsibility for all the wildlife that can’t be hunted, fished or trapped from Peregrine Falcons to Poweshiek Skipperling butterflies.  You can learn more about the program on their website:

Please consider donating to the Chickadee Check-off this tax season and supporting wildlife conservation in Iowa!