Stamp Collecting Month 2016

Elephants in river
Celebrate Stamp Collecting Month 2016
Meet seven threatened animal species, and learn what Australian zoos and conservation programs are doing to help them.

 

Stamp Collecting Month (SCM) is especially for kids (or the inner child in all of us). It's about encouraging budding philatelists, and sharing some educational facts on an interesting topic. Learn more about the animals that feature on the 2016 SCM stamps, by exploring the fun facts and videos here.

Endangered Animals Stamps Voiceover Script

This October it's Stamp Collecting Month and this year’s theme is “Endangered Wildlife”. Let's go on a safari to visit four native and three exotic endangered animals that are part of Australia's conservation programs.

The Southern Corroboree Frog
Pseudophryne corroboree
Critically Endangered

The brightly coloured Southern Corroboree Frog is one of the world’s rarest frogs, living only in a small area in sub-alpine Mt Kosciuszko National Park. Its numbers have declined by more than 99 per cent since the 1980s because of its susceptibility to the chytrid fungus.

Captive breeding colonies are being maintained at the Amphibian Research Centre, Taronga Zoo, Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary, and since 2010, hundreds of captive bred frogs have been released back into the wild.

The Snow Leopard
Panthera uncia syn. Uncia uncia
Endangered

The Snow Leopard is native to mountain ranges of central and south Asia. These cats are very rarely seen and are spread over two million square kilometres across 12 countries. There are only between 4,000 and 6,500 Snow Leopards left in the wild and this number continues to decline.

The Australasian region contributes to the International Snow Leopard Trust, and animals are currently housed at Melbourne Zoo and three privately owned zoos in Canberra and New South Wales.

The Asian Elephant
Elephas maximus
Endangered

The Asian Elephant is now restricted to just 15 per cent of its original range. Its population has declined by at least 50 per cent over the last 75 years, with its global population now estimated at just over 40,000. The elephant’s remaining habitat is shrinking fast and elephants are killed for their tusks, meat and leather.

Asian Elephants can be found at Melbourne Zoo, Perth Zoo, Taronga Zoo, and Taronga Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo.

The Western Lowland Gorilla
Gorilla gorilla gorilla
Critically Endangered

The Western Lowland Gorilla is native to the dense, remote rainforests of central Africa. Because of poaching and disease, the gorilla’s numbers have declined by more than 60 per cent in the last 20 to 25 years, and its remaining population is thought to be around 100,000. They are illegally hunted for food, as pets, and for body parts for traditional medicine.

Australian Zoos participating in International Breeding Programs to save the Gorilla are Taronga, Melbourne, Werribee, and Mogo Zoos.

The Western Swamp Tortoise
Pseudemydura umbrina
Critically Endangered

The Western Swamp tortoise is a small freshwater creature found only in two locations in Western Australia. It's Australia’s most endangered reptile and it's very vulnerable to land clearing, pesticides, fertilisers, fire and predators like cats, rats and foxes.

Since the mid-1980s, habitat management, captive breeding and translocations have increased the number from just 50 to around 200 in the wild. Adelaide Zoo is part of the captive breeding program to ensure the long-term survival of the species.

The Orange-bellied Parrot
Neophema chrysogaster
Critically Endangered

The Orange Bellied Parrot is on the brink of extinction. The parrot breeds only in Tasmania and spends winters in coastal Victoria and South Australia. While the main threat to the parrot is the fragmentation of its habitat, predators such as cats and foxes also pose a threat.

In 2016, there are fewer than 50 birds in the wild. However, more than 340 birds have been successfully bred in captivity and these are gradually being been released into the wild in an effort to increase the number of this critically endangered parrot.

The Northern Quoll
Dasyurus hallucatus
Endangered

The Northern Quoll, a small, omnivorous marsupial, once occurred across northern Australia from Western Australia to southern Queensland, but is now found in isolated populations in the Pilbara, the Kimberley, north-west Northern Territory and eastern Queensland.

A major threat to the Northern Quoll is the poisonous Cane Toad. This introduced pest kills quolls that eat it. Other current threats include fires and feral cats. Management of existing populations and protection of islands from cane toads and feral cats are helping to protect this iconic species.

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That brings us to the end of our Safari. Thanks for joining us! And remember to collect each of the “Endangered Wildlife” stamps as part of this year’s Stamp Collecting Month, beginning on the 20th of September.

Meet our endangered wildlife

Our 2016 SCM stamp release features 7 animals under threat of extinction (4 native to Australia, 3 exotic). These animals are currently in Australian zoos and/or other conservation programs in Australia.
Endangered Wildlife SCM 2016 Western Swamp Tortoise $1 stamp

Western Swamp Tortoise

Pseudemydura umbrina

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

This small, short-necked freshwater tortoise, found only in two locations in a small area of the Swan Coastal Plain in Western Australia, is Australia’s most endangered reptile...

Endangered Wildlife SCM 2016 Western Lowland Gorilla $1 stamp

Western Lowland Gorilla

Gorilla gorilla gorilla

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

This large primate is native to the dense, remote rainforests of central Africa. The total population is thought to be up to 100,000 individuals and this number is decreasing...

Endangered Wildlife SCM 2016 Snow Leopard $1 stamp

Snow Leopard

Panthera uncia syn. Uncia uncia

ENDANGERED

The beautiful Snow Leopard is native to mountain ranges in central and south Asia at altitudes of 3,000 to 4,500 metres. These cats are very rarely seen and are spread...

Endangered Wildlife SCM 2016 Northern Quoll 50c stamp

Northern Quoll

Dasyurus hallucatus

ENDANGERED

This small, omnivorous marsupial was once found across northern Australia, from Western Australia to southern Queensland, but is now found in isolated populations...

Asian Elephant

Elephas maximus

ENDANGERED

The Asian Elephant used to roam over most of Asia, but is now restricted to just 15 percent of its original range. The population has declined by at least 50 percent over the last 60 years...

Orange-bellied Parrot

Neophema chrysogaster

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

One of the world’s rarest and most endangered species, this small parrot is on the brink of extinction. The Orange-bellied Parrot is a migratory bird endemic to southern Australia...

Endangered Wildlife SCM 2016 Southern Corroboree Frog $1 stamp

Southern Corroboree Frog

Pseudophryne corroboree

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

This small, brightly coloured amphibian is one of the world’s rarest frogs. It lives only in a small area in subalpine Mt Kosciuszko National Park in southern New South Wales...

Fun stuff to learn more

If you’re a parent, caregiver, or teacher, we want to help you make learning fun for kids. To assist, we’ve got some free SCM resources here for you. Want to encourage stamp collecting even further? Read our tips on starting a collection.

Resources for teachers

Explores the theme of ‘Endangered wildlife’ focusing on seven native and exotic animals.

 

All about stamp collecting

If you’re new to stamp collecting, we’ve got some tips to get you going. If you want to, you can buy the SCM stamps to start off.

 

Get inspired: go behind the scenes

Find out why stamp collecting is such a popular hobby, and watch how stamps get made.

Why Collect Stamps video transcript

Australians have been collecting stamps for over 150 years, a couple of decades after stamps were first issued in 1840.

Kids would collect stamps as a hobby, asking their family and friends to save stamps from letters and envelopes they received.

News about valuable stamps, like the famous American stamp called the US Inverted Jenny from 1918, which sold in 2016 for over one and a half million dollars! and the world’s most valuable stamp, the 1856 one cent British Guiana Stamp, worth over 12 million dollars! has led to a huge interest in stamp collecting.

The value of stamps is determined by their age, their scarcity and their condition. But collecting is not just about a stamp’s value - it’s fun to collect colourful, interesting or unusual stamps, sort them into an album, and trade them with your friends!

Each year Australia Post dedicates a whole month to stamp collecting and every year a different theme is chosen for a series of exciting new stamps and products like the endangered species series which featured some Australia native animals including the Orange-bellied parrot and the Southern Corroboree Frog, as well as some exotic species like the Asian Elephant, and the Western Lowland Gorilla.

We’ve also explored the depths of our solar system where we took a thrilling ride through space and visiting all 8 planets; from the inhospitable heat of Mercury and Venus through to the eerie, cold gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn.

And we travelled way back in time with some beautifully illustrated drawings of some weird and wonderful and sometimes scary! dinosaurs.

All you need to start your own collection is a stamp album and some stamps! You can buy stamps from your local Australia Post shop, swap them with your friends, or ask your family to save stamps for you.

Stamp collecting is a lot of fun. And who knows, you may even find a rare stamp worth a lot of money!

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Production of the Australia Post Wildflowers Definitive Stamps transcript

Male inspecting printing plates
[Slate]: Plate production using a plating system from Du Pont
Male placing paper rolls onto printing machine
Paper rolls running through printing machine
Printing machine running
[Slate]: Four Colour printing on a flexographic printing press
Printing machine running, printing stamps
[Slate]: Stamps are then coated with phosphor and die cut
Printing machine running, printing stamps
[Slate]: The printing machine contains UV lamps to cure the ink through each stage
Printed stamps being passed through the machine and collected onto large rolls
Rolls of stamps going through Quality Control (QC)
[Slate]: Stamps go through inspection using cameras to detect abnormalities
Vision of QC process and inspection
[Slate]: During inspection imperfect stamps are replaced
Stamps passing through QC machine
Male inspecting printed stamp sheets by hand
Australia Post van driving out of production facility
[Slate]: Stamps are then transported to the Australia Post Production Facility
Printed stamps going through cutting machine to produce smaller rolls
Smaller stamp rolls produced, going through conveyor belt
[Slate]: Stamps are cut into smaller rolls of 200 stamps and placed in packaging
Smaller stamp rolls going through conveyor belt to packing
Stamp rolls packaged into boxes
[Slate]: Rolls are picked and boxed and made ready for delivery
Boxes being processed through convey belt
Australia Post van driving out of production facility

Australia Post Logo

Themes from previous years

We’ve been running SCM since 1993, that’s 23 years now! Take a look at some of our past themes…

Our Solar Systems (2015)

A journey into space, exploring our 8 major planets circling the sun, and Australia’s involvement with spacecraft over the last few decades.

Things That Sting (2014)

From wasps to stingrays, bull ants to tiger snakes, let’s take sensible precautions to protect ourselves, and them, from harm.