Guernsey Post announces that it will issue a miniature sheet stamp of the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis), which is classified as critically endangered on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List (issue date 14 February 2018).
Also known as the hook-lipped rhinoceros, the black rhino is one of the oldest groups of mammals. It is distinguished from the white rhino by a prehensile upper lip, which it uses to feed on twigs of woody plants and a variety of herbaceous plants.
Despite its name, the black rhino is grey in colour, and smaller than its white relative, although adults can still reach 1.5 metres in height and weigh around 1.4 tonnes. It is the fastest kind of rhino, capable of reaching a top speed of 55km an hour.
These generally solitary creatures have two horns, the foremost more prominent and longer than the other. Rhino horns grow as much as three inches a year, and have been known to grow up to five feet long. Females use their horns to protect their young, while males use them to battle attackers.
Today, there are a number of major threats posed to the black rhino including habitat changes, competing species and, by far the most detrimental threat, illegal poaching.
The species is currently found in sparse distribution from Kenya down to South Africa. However, almost 98% of the total population is found in just four countries – South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post said: – “Whilst conservation and anti-poaching efforts has seen its numbers increase, the black rhino remains critically endangered, with poaching for their horns a persistent threat to their survival. We are particularly delighted to be able to depict this species on our miniature sheet, which is the 12th species to feature as part of our Endangered Species series.”
The miniature sheet is available to pre-order now by visiting www.guernseystamps.com or by calling Philatelic Customer Services on +44 (0) 1481 716486.