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Support Butterflies and Other Important Pollinators with Income Tax Donation

Support Butterflies and Other Important Pollinators with Income Tax Donation

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The beautiful butterflies that visit backyard gardens, from the famed monarch to the mesmerizing tiger swallowtail, need support now more than ever. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife, pollinators across the nation are in decline because of habitat loss, pesticide use, and other factors. Conservation work by the Division of Wildlife, its partners, and dedicated individuals is critical to securing a future for these species.

Ohioans can help monarchs and other pollinators by donating all or a portion of this year’s state income tax refund. By making a tax donation to the Wildlife Diversity Fund, Ohioans are helping to ensure the future of Ohio’s ecosystems, from native habitats and landscapes to endangered plant and wildlife species.

Funds from the tax donation program go directly to projects that protect Ohio’s wildlife. Individuals may donate by entering a dollar amount for “Wildlife Species” on line 26d of the 2020 IT 1040 tax form. Contributions made on the 2020 tax return and filed in 2021 are considered deductible donations made in 2021.

Butterflies and other pollinators are more than stunning subjects of photographers and viewers. Pollinators play an integral role in the food web, and their work is essential in maintaining a healthy, adequate food supply in Ohio and beyond. Native pollinators include bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, beetles, and birds. The Buckeye State has more than 140 species of butterflies found in a variety of habitats, including urban backyards, upland forests, and lush wetlands.

One of the most important ways to help declining pollinators is by providing habitat. The Division of Wildlife adds habitat in the form of host plants and nectar plants to Ohio’s wildlife areas, highway roadsides, and more. Each fall, dried milkweed pods are collected from some of Ohio’s 13 native milkweed species and planted the following spring, expanding the available habitat for monarch butterflies. Milkweed is the sole host plant for monarchs and is beneficial at every stage of the insect’s life cycle.

Wildlife enthusiasts can also support butterflies by planting backyard habitats. Planting pollinator gardens and watching various species move from plant to plant is a gratifying way to help wildlife. For suggestions on which native plants are best, Ohioans can browse the free Backyards for Butterflies guide. This publication and others in the free field guide series are made possible in part by funds generated through donations..

Follow the Division of Wildlife on Twitter and Facebook for instant news stories, outdoor recreation ideas, local wildlife information, and so much more. The Your Wild Ohio Explorer page provides wildlife success stories and ways to help wildlife throughout the seasons. Visit wildohio.gov to find locations to hunt, fish, trap, and view wildlife. Follow us on Instagram to view the best of Ohio’s wildlife photography. And don’t forget about the HuntFish OH mobile app, available for Android and iOS users through the app store. Users can view wildlife area maps through the app, as well as purchase licenses and permits.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. The visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.