Sales of a new premium postage stamp are helping support international wildlife conservation projects for tigers, great apes, and other endangered animal species.
The U.S. Postal Service began offering the Save Vanishing Species stamps Sept. 20 at post offices nationwide and online at www.USPS.com following a release ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
An illustration of an Amur tiger cub is featured on the stamp, which costs 55 cents—11 cents more than a first-class mail stamp.
The Amur, or Siberian, tiger is one of six remaining tiger subspecies, all of which are found only in Asia, according to the World Wildlife Fund. As few as 3,200 tigers remain in the wild, where they are threatened by poaching and habitat loss, the WWF says.
Revenue generated by the sale of the Save Vanishing Species stamps will supplement the Multinational Species Conservation Funds, which support programs such as those protecting wild tigers. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers the MSCF, which include the African Elephant Conservation Fund, Asian Elephant Conservation Fund, Great Ape Conservation Fund, Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund, and Marine Turtle Conservation Fund.
Congress authorized the Save Vanishing Species stamps in 2010. Passage of the law was spearheaded by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the WWF and was supported by the 33 organizations comprising the Multinational Species Coalition, of which the AVMA is a member.
"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 USFWS Division of International Conservation. "A commitment to the stamp will demonstrate that Americans really care about wildlife conservation abroad."