1996 32c Endangered Species: Ocelot

# 3105e FDC - 1996 32c Endangered Species: Ocelot

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US #3105e
1996 Ocelot

  • First Day Cover
  • Part of set of 15 stamps picturing Endangered Species
  • Issued during National Stamp Collecting Month

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Endangered Species
Value:   32¢First-Class mail rate
First Day of Issue:  October 2, 1996
First Day City:  San Diego, California
Printed by:  Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Lithographed
Format:  Panes of 15 (3 across, 5 down) from printing plates of 90 (9 across, 10 down)
Perforations:  11.1 x 11

Why the stamp was issued:  The pane of 15 Endangered Species stamps was issued as part of the US Postal Service’s National Stamp Collecting Month.  The theme for 1996 was “Collect and Protect.”  The USPS hoped these stamps would appeal to children, who would then become lifelong stamp collectors. 

About the stamp design:  The stamps show photographs of 15 animal species that live in America and re threatened with extinction.  The photos were taken by James Balog.  The animals chosen for the stamps are from all major geographic areas of the US.  The ocelot pictured on the stamp lived at eh Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

First Day City:  The First Day of Issue ceremony took place at the San Diego Zoo.  In 1996, the zoo was celebrating its 80th birthday.  The country of Mexico issued its own pane of endangered species stamps on the same day and took part in the First Day of Issue ceremony.  (The stamps were not a joint issue.)  In addition to honored human guests, two sea lions, an Andean condor, and a North American timber wolf were also in attendance at the celebration.

Unusual fact about the Endangered Species stamps:  The 1996 National Stamp Collecting Month was co-sponsored by the US Postal Service and the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

About the Endangered Species Set:  The species shown on the pane of Endangered Species stamps are: Black-footed Ferret, Schaus Swallowtail Butterfly, Brown Pelican, San Francisco Garter Snake, Ocelot, Gila Trout, Hawaiian Monk Seal, Thick-billed Parrot, California Condor, Wyoming Toad, Woodland Caribou, Florida manatee, Florida Panther, Piping Plover, and American Crocodile.  All of them are listed on the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. 

History this stamp represents:  Ocelots are extremely shy animals, hunting under the cover of night and spending their days hidden among thick brush.  In fact, they are so reclusive that even the biologists devoted to their recovery know very little about their natural habits.
Still found in the brushlands of Arizona and Texas, ocelots have long been hunted for their exquisite coats.  In fact, as recently as the 1980s, European furriers paid as much as $4,000 for one ocelot skin, and markets continue to flourish in South America.  Listing under the Endangered Species Act however, has made killing an ocelot a federal crime in the US, and hunting is no longer the threat it once was.  Instead, habitat loss and fragmentation have become a primary concern.  Ocelots require large, densely foliated territories in which to hunt and breed.  Such land however, is often fertile and therefore attractive to farmers, leaving few patches of land large enough to support a healthy population.
Conservation biologists hope to restore 250 acres of reclaimed farmland in the Rio Grande Valley, but restoration is no substitute for preserving the remaining wild habitat.  Not only is it difficult to re-create a natural habitat, but the heavy brush required by the ocelot will take decades to grow.

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US #3105e
1996 Ocelot

  • First Day Cover
  • Part of set of 15 stamps picturing Endangered Species
  • Issued during National Stamp Collecting Month

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Endangered Species
Value:   32¢First-Class mail rate
First Day of Issue:  October 2, 1996
First Day City:  San Diego, California
Printed by:  Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Lithographed
Format:  Panes of 15 (3 across, 5 down) from printing plates of 90 (9 across, 10 down)
Perforations:  11.1 x 11

Why the stamp was issued:  The pane of 15 Endangered Species stamps was issued as part of the US Postal Service’s National Stamp Collecting Month.  The theme for 1996 was “Collect and Protect.”  The USPS hoped these stamps would appeal to children, who would then become lifelong stamp collectors. 

About the stamp design:  The stamps show photographs of 15 animal species that live in America and re threatened with extinction.  The photos were taken by James Balog.  The animals chosen for the stamps are from all major geographic areas of the US.  The ocelot pictured on the stamp lived at eh Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

First Day City:  The First Day of Issue ceremony took place at the San Diego Zoo.  In 1996, the zoo was celebrating its 80th birthday.  The country of Mexico issued its own pane of endangered species stamps on the same day and took part in the First Day of Issue ceremony.  (The stamps were not a joint issue.)  In addition to honored human guests, two sea lions, an Andean condor, and a North American timber wolf were also in attendance at the celebration.

Unusual fact about the Endangered Species stamps:  The 1996 National Stamp Collecting Month was co-sponsored by the US Postal Service and the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

About the Endangered Species Set:  The species shown on the pane of Endangered Species stamps are: Black-footed Ferret, Schaus Swallowtail Butterfly, Brown Pelican, San Francisco Garter Snake, Ocelot, Gila Trout, Hawaiian Monk Seal, Thick-billed Parrot, California Condor, Wyoming Toad, Woodland Caribou, Florida manatee, Florida Panther, Piping Plover, and American Crocodile.  All of them are listed on the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. 

History this stamp represents:  Ocelots are extremely shy animals, hunting under the cover of night and spending their days hidden among thick brush.  In fact, they are so reclusive that even the biologists devoted to their recovery know very little about their natural habits.
Still found in the brushlands of Arizona and Texas, ocelots have long been hunted for their exquisite coats.  In fact, as recently as the 1980s, European furriers paid as much as $4,000 for one ocelot skin, and markets continue to flourish in South America.  Listing under the Endangered Species Act however, has made killing an ocelot a federal crime in the US, and hunting is no longer the threat it once was.  Instead, habitat loss and fragmentation have become a primary concern.  Ocelots require large, densely foliated territories in which to hunt and breed.  Such land however, is often fertile and therefore attractive to farmers, leaving few patches of land large enough to support a healthy population.
Conservation biologists hope to restore 250 acres of reclaimed farmland in the Rio Grande Valley, but restoration is no substitute for preserving the remaining wild habitat.  Not only is it difficult to re-create a natural habitat, but the heavy brush required by the ocelot will take decades to grow.