WASHINGTON, DC, September 20, 2011 – A new U.S. postage stamp featuring a tiger cub that went on sale today is a first of its kind stamp that will allow purchasers to support international wildlife conservation. Net proceeds from sale of the Save Vanishing Species stamp directly support efforts to save beloved species like elephants, tigers, and great apes.
The Save Vanishing Species stamp will now be available at Post Office locations nationwide and USPS.com. It will sell for 11 cents more than a First Class Mail stamp — 55 cents — and $11 for a sheet of 20.
The stamp is the result of a 10-year effort led by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and other international conservation organizations, including Wildlife Conservation Society.
All proceeds raised will 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 (MSCF) 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. The program, which is administered by the USFWS, supports the conservation of many of the world’s most charismatic species. Despite its modest size, this program has broad support, including more than 20 million members of the organizations that comprise the Multinational Species Coalition. The program also stimulates public?private partnerships and has leveraged more than three times as much in matching funds from conservation groups, corporations and other governments.
The Amur tiger cub featured on the stamp is an iconic symbol of the plight of endangered species around the world. Fewer than 3,500 tigers remain in the wild and WWF is working with other conservation groups, governments and local communities throughout their range to protect these remaining tigers from poaching and habitat destruction.
“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.