You Can Help Endangered Species With Your State Tax Returns, Says CDFW

This is a press release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

A great gray owl (Strix nebulosa) in Sierra National Forest near Oakhurst.

Income tax returns are due April 16, so there’s still time to make a Voluntary Tax Contribution or two that benefit wildlife on your California Form 540. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) needs your help to save the more than 300 listed threatened and endangered plant and animal species that are native to our state.

The Rare and Endangered Species Preservation Program continues to benefit California’s native at-risk fish, wildlife and plants, thanks to the generosity of California taxpayers. Donations to this fund have enabled CDFW to obtain matching funds from the federal government and collaborate with numerous stakeholders and organizations—including other government agencies—to conserve native wildlife and restore habitat. As federal funds decrease, public support becomes ever more crucial to keep recovery work on track.

Your voluntary contributions have enabled CDFW botanists to review the status of Lassics lupine and coast yellow leptosiphon, which are both candidate species for state listing. We recently leveraged your tax donation funds to obtain a second federal grant to conduct important monitoring of more threatened and endangered plant species.

Great gray owl, Mohave ground squirrel, mountain yellow-legged frog, willow flycatcher, desert pupfish, and giant garter snake are also among the species CDFW’s wildlife biologists are working with to ensure they survive well into the future, thanks to this endangered species fund.

In the marine environment, Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) benefit from donations to the California Sea Otter Fund.There were once as many as 16,000 sea otters along California’s coast. The 2017 population survey counted fewer than 3,000 individuals—a slight decrease from the 2016 count.

Your donations to the Sea Otter Fund on line 410 support research on the causes of mortality in this species and other projects to help the sea otter population recover. The Southern sea otter is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and fully protected by the State of California.

CDFW scientists have achieved important recovery milestones and protected many vulnerable species, with support from California taxpayers. There is no upper limit to donations and any amount is appreciated. Please give what you can, and remember, their future is in our hands, and your contributions can help save them.  More information about how CDFW uses these Voluntary Tax Contribution Funds is available at and at

If someone else prepares your state tax return, please let him or her know you want to donate to the Rare and Endangered Species Preservation Program on line 403 and/or California Sea Otter Fund on line 410. If you have trouble finding California Contribution Funds in TurboTax, see these step-by-step instructions.



  • A very worthwhile program, have been donating for years, even if they are not in my community. Thank you for posting this and reminding people of the less fortunate species we share on this planet.

    “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”~ Chief Seattle – Brother Eagle, Sister Sky

  • Maybe it has to do with the incredibly time consuming California tax return forms but I am never in the mood to turn over one more dollar to the government by the time it gets to that part of the form. In fact it takes about two weeks before I can start to forget the misery of the tax forms. The Federal return is fast and simple. The State return is a nightmare and totally unnecessarily so since most of the time is spent having to check on things totally irrelevant to me but the wording is so unclear that it needs to be checked out just in case.

  • Need money, ask Jerry Brown. He has been taking it from us on a regular basis. I give more than my fair share to our state government now. No more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *