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New Tiger Cub Stamps Aim to Help Save Endangered Species

(Image credit: Wildlife Conservation Society)

A new U.S. postage stamp, the Save Vanishing Species stamp, was issued today (Sept. 20, 2011) by the U.S. Postal Service. The stamp, featuring an illustration of a tiger cub, supports efforts to save species like elephants, tigers, and great apes.

Save Vanishing Species stamps are now available at Post Office locations nationwide and online at shop.usps.com or tigerstamp.com. They will sell for 11 cents greater than a First Class Mail stamp 55 cents and $11 for a sheet of 20. Also available is a special commemorative notecard set featuring the stamp's image.

The new wildlife stamp is a tremendous opportunity to help save wildlife around the world in a financially responsible way, said John Calvelli, Wildlife Conservation Society's Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. The stamp is the culmination of a decades-long effort among conservation organizations, federal agencies and Congressional champions, making it a true collaborative victory for threatened wildlife. This gives every one of us the chance to make a difference by simply buying a stamp.

The Save Vanishing Species stamps will contribute funding for projects supported by the Multinational Species Conservation Funds (MSCF), which are administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conserve tigers, rhinos, great apes, marine turtles, African elephants and Asian elephants. The stamp was created through federal legislation which was signed into law in September 2010. Passage of the law was spearheaded by the Wildlife Conservation Society and World Wildlife Fund and was supported by the 33 organizations of the Multinational Species Coalition.

Today, only 3,200 tigers populate 42 source sites across thirteen countries in Asia that are now the last hope and greatest priority for the conservation and recovery of the world's largest cat. Source sites contain the majority of the world's remaining breeding females approximately 1,000 individuals and have the potential to seed the recovery of tigers across wider landscapes. Multinational Species Conservation Funds, soon to be supplemented by proceeds from the stamp, provide critical support to programs that protect these last remaining tiger habitats.

This stamp marks the fourth semipostal issued by the Postal Service. These types of stamps provide an extremely convenient way for the American public to contribute to help protect threatened and vanishing species, said Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman. We look forward to working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Multinational Species Coalition to make this stamp a resounding success.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's MSCF program supports the conservation of many of the world's most charismatic species. Despite the modest size of this program, its support is very broad?based, including more than 20 million members of the Multinational Species Coalition. This 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 stamp provides a unique opportunity for the American public to work with the federal government to contribute to saving some of our most beloved threatened species, said Herb Raffaele, Chief of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Division of International Conservation. A commitment to the stamp will demonstrate that Americans really care about wildlife conservation abroad.

Live Science Staff
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