1996 32c Endangered Species: Florida Panther

# 3105m FDC - 1996 32c Endangered Species: Florida Panther

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US #3105m
1996 Florida Panther

  • 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 photograph used for the Florida Panther stamp was taken at the Wildlife Rescue Shelter in Tampa, Florida.

Special design details:  The Florida Panther stamp in the lower left corner is the only image that breaks the stamp border.  Its legs extend past the stamp to the selvage.

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: The Florida panther is one of the most critically endangered animals in America.  Historically found throughout the entire Western Hemisphere, the panther was once the most widely distributed animal in the Americas, rivaled only by the population of man.  But since the early 1900s, their numbers have dwindled from 500 to a mere few dozen, and today they can only be found in two regions of southern Florida – the Big Cypress Swamp and Everglades National Park.
A darker, gray-brown coat, longer limbs, and smaller feet have always distinguished this species from other panthers.  Additional differences like a cowlick along the ridge of its back and a right-angled kink at the end of its tail, have also emerged as a result of a limited gene pool.  Through the captive-breeding program begun in 1991, scientists hope to diversify the pool.  Despite these efforts, the fate of the wild Florida panther remains entwined with that of its fragile habitat.
As with any large predator, the panther sustains itself by hunting over wide expanses that range from 25 to 250 square miles.  To support a healthy population requires enormous amounts of land, and as civilization infringes on Florida’s ever-shrinking wilderness, the survival of the Florida panther looks slim.

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US #3105m
1996 Florida Panther

  • 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 photograph used for the Florida Panther stamp was taken at the Wildlife Rescue Shelter in Tampa, Florida.

Special design details:  The Florida Panther stamp in the lower left corner is the only image that breaks the stamp border.  Its legs extend past the stamp to the selvage.

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: The Florida panther is one of the most critically endangered animals in America.  Historically found throughout the entire Western Hemisphere, the panther was once the most widely distributed animal in the Americas, rivaled only by the population of man.  But since the early 1900s, their numbers have dwindled from 500 to a mere few dozen, and today they can only be found in two regions of southern Florida – the Big Cypress Swamp and Everglades National Park.
A darker, gray-brown coat, longer limbs, and smaller feet have always distinguished this species from other panthers.  Additional differences like a cowlick along the ridge of its back and a right-angled kink at the end of its tail, have also emerged as a result of a limited gene pool.  Through the captive-breeding program begun in 1991, scientists hope to diversify the pool.  Despite these efforts, the fate of the wild Florida panther remains entwined with that of its fragile habitat.
As with any large predator, the panther sustains itself by hunting over wide expanses that range from 25 to 250 square miles.  To support a healthy population requires enormous amounts of land, and as civilization infringes on Florida’s ever-shrinking wilderness, the survival of the Florida panther looks slim.