Guernsey Post’s philatelic bureau has released stamps featuring some of the species of endangered wildlife found in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The Europa stamps depict species that are locally registered from critically endangered through to near threatened.
Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post said: – “Europa stamps are issued every year by the members of PostEurop, the trade association which represents the interests of European public postal operators. Each year a theme is set for members to interpret and illustrate on a set of stamps. For 2021, the theme ‘Endangered National Wildlife’ is the chosen theme for our interpretation.
“These delightful stamps, designed by artist Wendy Bramall, depict just some of the species found on the island of Guernsey and its surrounding waters, including the Basking shark and European eel, both of which bear the Europa logo.”
The European herring gull used to be Guernsey’s most common gull, but the species is now listed as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
Listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, the scaly cricket, also known as the Atlantic Beach Cricket, is one of the rarest species of cricket. They were previously only recorded in four UK locations but in recent years have been found in Guernsey, Herm and Sark.
Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, Basking sharks, which are the world’s second-largest fish, are now protected in EU waters and under some international agreements. They are mostly seen in or near the Hurd Deep, an underwater valley northwest of the Channel Islands and the deepest point in the English Channel.
The once common European eel was caught to make eel pies and jellied eels, but some estimates show that numbers have declined to less than one percent of historic levels and they are now classed as Critically Endangered.
Guernsey and Jersey are the only places where the Near Threatened Black-backed meadow ant can be found in the British Isles. An Ant Action Plan was implemented in Guernsey in 2018 to tackle its rapid decline. They can be spotted along the island’s southern cliff paths between Pleinmont and Icart and in field banks close to the cliffs.
Harbour porpoise are shy and elusive marine animals that spend very little time at the surface and are a particularly difficult species to monitor. Guernsey has a small and vulnerable local population, and the species is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
The coastal habitat of the orange and brown chequered Glanville fritillary butterfly is disappearing at an alarming rate. More common in Alderney than anywhere else in the British Isles, it is making a comeback in Guernsey and can be spotted on warm days on the island’s cliff sides.
Porbeagle shark, distant relatives of the great white shark, are occasionally seen in Bailiwick waters and are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Released on 7 April 2021, the stamps are available to order at www.guernseystamps.com or by calling Philatelic Customer Services on +44 (0) 1481 716486.