Wildlife Commission Unveils Newly Designed License Plate

Last Updated on February 12, 2022 6:59 pm

RALEIGH, N.C.— The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently unveiled its newly designed Wildlife Conservation License Plate, which features an artistic drawing of a Pine Barrens treefrog along with the agency’s signature “Wildlife” logo.

The plate is available now through the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles and costs $30, with $20 from each plate going to the agency’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund. The new design replaces the cardinal and dogwood logo, which has been the symbol of the fund since 1983—the year the fund was first established by the North Carolina General Assembly. The fund supports projects and programs conducted by the Wildlife Diversity Program.

The newly designed Wildlife Conservation Plate, featuring a Pine Barrens treefrog, is now available from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Download a high-resolution version of this image from the link below.

The Commission’s Wildlife Diversity Program is responsible for the conservation, protection and management of North Carolina’s rare native fauna and more than 700 species of nongame animals. Recent and/or ongoing projects conducted by program biologists include:

  • Conservation of sea turtle nests along the Outer Banks;
  • Management and protection of nesting colonies of pelicans, gulls and terns along our sounds and inlets;
  • Research and surveys on rare nongame fish, freshwater mussels and snails;
  • Restoration of peregrine falcon and bald eagle populations;
  • Research and surveys on the endangered northern flying squirrel;
  • Management of colonies of endangered bats in the mountains; and
  • Production of conservation educational materials.

In addition to license plate sales, the program is supported mainly by contributions of state income tax refunds (known as the N.C. State Income Tax Check-off), as well as federal and other grants. 

In 2015, the Commission introduced a native brook trout license plate to pay for habitat protection for brook trout and to create public access to brook trout waters in North Carolina. That plate is also available on the Department of Motor Vehicles website for $30.

“Projects that protect our state’s native game, nongame and endangered animals are made possible by the generous support of North Carolina citizens, through the purchase of the native brook trout and wildlife conservation license plates,” said Shannon Deaton, the Commission’s Habitat Conservation chief. “With this new design, the rate for the plate increased from $20 to $30; meaning increased resources for the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund. This Fund supports projects that benefit nongame and their habitats. As an added bonus, many of these projects also benefit game species, such as turkey, bear and deer, because they share the same habitats.”

The quest for a newly designed Wildlife Conservation Plate began five years ago when Ann Somers, a former member of the Commission’s Nongame Wildlife Advisory Committee (NWAC) and a UNC-Greensboro professor, led an initiative where college students hosted an art competition for the new design. More than 37 entries were submitted and the final image was selected by NWAC members.

To order the new Wildlife Conservation License plate, visit DMV’s website. Under the “Choose a Plate” section, select Wildlife Resources from the list of Custom Plate options.

The Pine Barrens treefrog, named for the New Jersey Pine Barrens, is a medium-sized green treefrog with a white-bordered lavender stripe down each side of its body. The frog is found in the pine forests and sandhills of south-central North Carolina. Biologists think populations are declining in the state because of habitat destruction and degradation. In 2013, the Pine Barrens treefrog and the marbled salamander were designated the official state amphibians.

For more information about nongame species in North Carolina, visit the Commission’s Wildlife Diversity webpage. To learn more about the Pine Barrens treefrog, visit the Commission’s Pine Barrens treefrog webpage.

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