1996 32c Endangered Species: Woodland Caribou

# 3105l - 1996 32c Endangered Species: Woodland Caribou

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US #3105l
1996 Woodland Caribou

  • 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
Quantity Issued:  14,910,000
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 woodland caribou shown on the stamp are protected on the Northwest Trek preserve in Tacoma, Washington.  The photographer had to visit the preserve twice because the caribou had shed their antlers the first time he tried to photograph them.

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: Once ranging throughout Canada and the northern US from New England to Washington state, the woodland caribou’s numbers have been greatly reduced.  By the mid-1900s, deforestation had eliminated the caribou in the northeastern states.  At the same time, the once-extensive population in the Selkirk Mountains of eastern Washington and Idaho had been reduced to about 100 animals.  Although more than one million caribou range throughout western Canada and Alaska today, only about 28 survive in the Selkirk Mountains – representing the last free-ranging caribou of the lower 48 states.
While logging, mining, and forest fires have destroyed much of the spruce and pine forests inhabited by the caribou, the animal’s limited winter food source has also posed several problems.  During the winter months caribou depend on lichens for two thirds of their food supply.  These lichens often absorb and retain many harmful chemicals, including radioactive derivatives of strontium and cesium.  In addition, they are slow growing and are being consumed too rapidly for an adequate food supply to be re-established.
Conservation efforts are aimed at animal protection, herd enhancement, and management of the remaining caribou habitat in the Selkirk Mountains.  In spite of these efforts, the population of this species had dwindled to just six in the lower 48 states.  In 2018, the survivors were moved to a captive breeding program in Canada.

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US #3105l
1996 Woodland Caribou

  • 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
Quantity Issued:  14,910,000
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 woodland caribou shown on the stamp are protected on the Northwest Trek preserve in Tacoma, Washington.  The photographer had to visit the preserve twice because the caribou had shed their antlers the first time he tried to photograph them.

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: Once ranging throughout Canada and the northern US from New England to Washington state, the woodland caribou’s numbers have been greatly reduced.  By the mid-1900s, deforestation had eliminated the caribou in the northeastern states.  At the same time, the once-extensive population in the Selkirk Mountains of eastern Washington and Idaho had been reduced to about 100 animals.  Although more than one million caribou range throughout western Canada and Alaska today, only about 28 survive in the Selkirk Mountains – representing the last free-ranging caribou of the lower 48 states.
While logging, mining, and forest fires have destroyed much of the spruce and pine forests inhabited by the caribou, the animal’s limited winter food source has also posed several problems.  During the winter months caribou depend on lichens for two thirds of their food supply.  These lichens often absorb and retain many harmful chemicals, including radioactive derivatives of strontium and cesium.  In addition, they are slow growing and are being consumed too rapidly for an adequate food supply to be re-established.
Conservation efforts are aimed at animal protection, herd enhancement, and management of the remaining caribou habitat in the Selkirk Mountains.  In spite of these efforts, the population of this species had dwindled to just six in the lower 48 states.  In 2018, the survivors were moved to a captive breeding program in Canada.