PLANET PROTECTOR: WWF'S VITAL WORK CELEBRATED ON STAMPS
Whether it's safeguarding the natural world or tackling climate change, for half a century WWF has been at the forefront of protecting our planet's resources.
Now Royal Mail is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the world's leading conservation organisation with a total of 14 stamps issued on 22 March.
Created in 1961, WWF was formed by a group of eminent wildlife experts who launched the conservation organisation to tackle environmental problems across the world.
Half a century later, and now proud to have almost five million members, the natural world is still at the centre of WWF's work, including the vital issues of climate change and the unsustainable way we are using our natural resources.
Royal Mail is issuing ten 1st Class stamps as two sheets with five se-tenant stamps across each, with the WWF panda logo in the lower left hand corner. Species involved in WWF conservation projects around the globe are depicted on the stamps.
Forests are the Post Europ theme for 2011 and next year is also The United Nations' Year of the Forest , so the four-stamp miniature sheet highlights species of the Amazon rainforest, where WWF is also working with local communities to tackle deforestation and safeguard species and habitats.
Like the sheet stamps, each stamp on the miniature sheet will feature the WWF logo, while the First Class stamp bears the Post Europ logo.
Philip Parker, Royal Mail Stamps spokesperson, said: "At the heart of WWF's work is the need to conserve the earth's biodiversity by protecting its species and their habitats.
"It was the prime reason for the organisation's establishment 50 year ago and WWF continues to help protect animals like the tiger, polar bear and Amur leopard featured on the stamps, working on every continent to halt species decline and preserve their habitats."
David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of WWF-UK says: "We are delighted to be celebrating our 50th anniversary with a set of Royal Mail stamps featuring iconic endangered species. These represent some of the global conservation challenges we continue to tackle head on, such as deforestation, climate change, and reducing humanity's footprint on the natural world. Behind every stamp is a story of hope and WWF's determination to build a future where people and nature thrive."
Issued by Aawaz Communications on behalf of Royal Mail
Tel 020 7404 6064
NOTES TO EDITORS
Images of the WWF stamps are available by telephoning Kathryn Hollingsworth at Aawaz Communications on 0207 404 6064 or via e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org
Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/stamps the Royal Mail eBay shop:
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Royal-Mail-Stamp-Collections and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent , Edinburgh , EH12 9PB
Founded in 1961, WWF is celebrating its 50th year as the world's leading independent conservation organisation. Conservation and protection of the environment for the benefit of people and nature has come a long way in the last half century but there's still much to be done. To find out more about WWF's work to protect wildlife and habitats, tackle climate change, and challenge unsustainable lifestyles, visit wwf.org.uk/50
Stamp by Stamp
1st Class – African Elephant
Elephants continue to face serious threats across their range. Although poaching of elephants for their ivory has declined since the 1989 worldwide ivory ban, a more long-term threat is the reduction of habitat in the face of expanding human populations.
1st Class – Mountain Gorilla
The mountain gorilla became known to science in 1902. Since then, they have endured uncontrolled hunting, war, disease, habitat destruction, and capture for the illegal pet trade.
1st Class – Siberian Tiger
The Amur or Siberian tiger is the largest sub-species of tiger and is primarily found in south-eastern Russia and northern China . In the 1960s it was close to extinction but its numbers recovered to around 450 today.
1st Class – Polar Bear
With 20-25,000 polar bears living in the wild, the species is not currently endangered, but its future is far from certain. If current warming trends continue, scientists believe that polar bears will be vulnerable to extinction within the next century.
1st Class – Amur Leopard
Due to extensive habitat loss and conflict with humans, the Amur leopard's situation is critical. However, the fact that the Amur tiger recovered from a precarious state of less than 40 individuals some 60-70 years ago gives conservationists hope.
1st Class – Iberian Lynx
The Iberian lynx is classified as the world's most endangered cat. Habitat loss and degradation are contributing to this decline. Today, there are no more than 38 breeding females in the wild.
1st Class - Red Panda
The word panda comes from the Nepalese "poonya" which means bamboo eater. The red panda is known as the red cat bear or lesser panda. While it may be "lesser" in size than the giant panda, both species are threatened by less habitat and deforestation.
1st Class – Black Rhinoceros
Relentless poaching has seen the number of black rhino decline. Pressure escalated during the 1970s and 1980s because of rising demand for rhino horn in Asia and the Middle East and between 1970 and 1992, the black rhino suffered a 96% decline in numbers.
1st Class – African Wild Dog
African wild dogs are the size of medium domestic dogs and their coats are mottled in shades of brown, black and beige. They have large, rounded ears and dark brown circles around their eyes. One of Africa 's most endangered carnivores it is Red listed as an endangered species.
1st Class – Golden Lion Tamarin
The golden lion tamarin is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Only about 800 are left in the wild. The primary threats to this species' survival are continued loss of forest habitat and population fragmentation due to agriculture and urban development
WWF Stamps Technical Details:
WWF Miniature Sheet Stamp by Stamp
1st Class – Spider Monkey
Spider monkeys are some of the largest primates in South America . Their prehensile tail allows them to find stability when sitting on branches and to reach out for food at the tip of fragile branches by suspending themselves with it.
60p – Hyacinth Macaw
In the 1980s an estimated 10,000 hyacinth macaws were illegally captured and sold as pets, while the species' natural habitat was being destroyed by deforestation.
88p – Poison Dart Frog
With its striking appearance and unique features, the poison dart frog is one of the most interesting - and dangerous – Amazon species. The poison dart frog uses its brightly coloured skin to warn predators that it is "unfit to eat." The skin secretes a dangerous poison that can paralyze and in some cases kill predators.
97p – Jaguar
Jaguars are the largest American cats and strong swimmers and climbers. They weigh over 300 pounds and grow to more than eight feet in length, including a two-foot tail. Although legally protected, hunting and habitat loss continue to be threats.
WWF - Miniature Sheet Technical Details:
A miniature sheet of four stamps will feature animals from the Amazon rain forest. Forests are the 2011 PostEurop theme and the 1st class stamp will bear the PostEurop logo.
Presentation Pack No 454 – WWF: Safeguarding the Natural World
The fully illustrated presentation pack contains the ten WWF stamps and the miniature sheet on a separate carrier. Inside is a look at WWF's vital conservation work. The pack was designed by Carter Wong Design and printed by Walsall Security Printers.
Prestige Stamp Book
Featuring four stamp panes unavailable elsewhere, the PSB tells the story of the WWF and its work around the world. The PSB was designed by Russell Warren-Fisher
First Day Envelope
First Day Cover
Mail Order Price
Miniature sheet: £3.91
PSB pane: £2.98
The First Day Cover Envelope and filler card were designed by Carter Wong Design with additional information about WWF by Peter Denton.
The coin cover features the miniature sheet together with a brilliant uncirculated WWF commemorative 50p set within a protective clear plastic blister. It was designed by Interbang.
Price £6.75 the set of 15
Fifteen postcards bearing enlarged images of each of the WWF stamps and the miniature sheet go on sale about a week before the stamp issue date. Printed by Fulmar Colour Printing Company Ltd.
Two different pictorial 'first day of issue postmarks' are available for every new stamp issue:
Unstamped Royal Mail First Day Cover envelopes (price 30p) will be available from Post Officeâ branches and philatelic outlets approximately one week before issue. Collectors who hand in or post covers at main Post Officeâ branches will receive the pictorial GODALMING, SURREY first day postmark.
Alternatively, collectors may send stamped covers for the first day of issue to Royal Mail , Tallents House, 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 9PB, quoting reference FD11 10 (Tallents House) or to any Special Handstamp Centre quoting reference FD11 11 (GODALMING, SURREY pictorial postmark) FD11 11NP (non-pictorial.
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