Mail a letter, save a tiger

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Bronx Zoo | cobra | endangered species | peacock | peahen | stamp | tiger | U.S. Postal Service | wildlife conservation society

Save Vanishing Species stamp imageIf the world gets saved one small act at a time, the U.S. Postal Service and the Wildlife Conservation Society may be onto something. They’ve just unveiled a new stamp that aims to make protection of endangered species as easy as mailing a letter.

The new Save Vanishing Species stamp costs 55 cents, 11 cents more than a regular first class stamp. It features the face of a tiger cub, and net proceeds contribute to projects supported by the Multinational Species Conservation Funds, which are administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These projects work to conserve tigers, rhinos, great apes, marine turtles and African and Asian elephants.

There is no impact on U.S. taxpayers, and it is the fourth so-called semipostal issue by the Postal Service.  The stamps should be available in September at post offices and at Wildlife Conservation Society parks.

The announcement is a victory for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which had fought for legislation to create such stamps and manages the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, including its flagship, the Bronx Zoo in New York City.

It’s been a good week for that well-known zoo overall. For the second time since March, a zoo animal went on walkabout before being safely recovered. This time it was a green and brown peahen (a female peafowl, the peacock’s counterpart) who — of course — had a designated Twitter feed while she was out on the town. She tweeted that she got some pointers from a Bronx Zoo cobra that had a celebrated period of freedom back in March and had a similarly popular Twitter feed.

After her return, the peahen tweeted: “Btw news media, you have it wrong. I let them capture me so I didn’t have to walk back.”

Image courtesy U.S. Postal Service

Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 11, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service today unveiled a new postage stamp to raise money to protect endangered species, including tigers, rhinos and marine turtles. The stamp features an Amur tiger cub and is the result of a 10-year effort led by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other international conservation organizations.

The Save Vanishing Species stamp will go on sale in September for a premium above the normal first-class rate and will be available for purchase at all U.S. post offices. All proceeds raised will go to benefit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Multinational Species Conservation Funds, which support efforts by numerous conservation organizations, including WWF, to protect wild populations of tigers, rhinos, elephants, great apes and marine turtles. Some of these efforts by WWF have included:

  • Surveying tigers and their prey in Nepal
  • Collaring and tracking elephants in Mozambique

Reducing marine turtle bycatch in Gabon

  • Restoring rhino populations to protected areas in India
  • Preventing the spread of tuberculosis in elephants in Nepal

“This is an easy way for individuals to use their purchasing power to help save vanishing species every time they mail a letter,” said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of conservation strategy and science at WWF. “By purchasing these stamps, anyone can play a direct role in protecting some of our most iconic and endangered wildlife.”

As Congress considers deep funding cuts to federal programs that protect these species, this stamp is an innovative way to ensure that species conservation continues to receive the support it needs. The stamp was created by the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act, which passed Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support last year. WWF played a major role in the approval of the stamp, including proposing the original idea in 2000.

“We are extremely grateful to the U.S. Postal Service for creating a wildlife stamp that is not only beautiful, but also gives the public a chance to help preserve these magnificent animals in the wild,” said Hemley.

The stamp can be preordered beginning today from Visit WWF’s website to learn more about endangered species and ways that you can help.

Note to the Editor: Photos of the species that will benefit from the new stamp, as well as images of the stamp and stamp booklet can be obtained by contacting Caroline Behringer at (443) 285-1928; caroline.behringer(at)wwfus(dot)org.

WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit to learn more.
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