UN issues 12 stamps illustrating endangered species in Central & South America and the Caribbean

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Geneva/New York/Vienna, 3 March 2022 – Twelve new, colorful and original stamps are being launched today as part of the United Nations Endangered Species Stamps series. The stamps are issued by the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) and the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). They highlight species native to the Central and South American and Caribbean region, including Panama, which will host the next triennial World Wildlife Conference this November (CITES CoP19).

This 29th annual edition of the UN Endangered Species Stamps series is being launched on World Wildlife Day which this year has the theme of ‘Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration’. They are available online at www.unstamps.org and in-person from shops at the UN headquarters in New York, Geneva and Vienna.

A mix of mammals, plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles and insects is represented. Some of the species are included in Appendix II of CITES, which uses a rigorous system of trade permits to ensure that trade in such species remains legal and sustainable. Others are listed on Appendix I, which bans or highly restricts trade in such species, considered to be threatened by extinction.

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The stamps were illustrated by Fernando Correia. This is his second set of stamps of endangered species for the United Nations. He has been a professional scientific illustrator for more than thirty years, winning multiple awards. His work has been in more than sixty exhibitions in the United States and across Europe, including his native Portugal. Fernando trained as a biologist, holds a Masters in Animal Ecology and has published more than a hundred and fifty papers on biology and scientific illustration.

The following species are featured on the stamps:

  • The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus, listed in Appendix I) is the largest flying bird in the world as measured by its combined weight and wingspan.
  • The jaguar (Panthera onca, Appendix I) is endangered by habitat loss and poaching.
  • The pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus, Appendix II) is native to a small island off the coast of Panama and is considered critically endangered.
  • The keel-billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus, Appendix II), the national bird of Belize, is threatened by habitat loss and the international pet trade.
  • Staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis, Appendix II) populations are declining throughout their few remaining habitats in the Caribbean.
  • The manta de monk (Mobula munkiana, Appendix II), a species of ray native to the tropical and coastal waters of the Pacific, often caught as bycatch by fishing boats.
  • The polkadot poison frog (Oophaga arborea, Appendix II) is native to Panama and is critically endangered.
  • The Grenadines clawed gecko (Gonatodes daudini, Appendix I) is endemic to the islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines and is threatened by the international pet trade.
  • The Satanas beetle (Dynastes satanas, Appendix II) of Bolivia has declined due to collecting and habitat loss.
  • The night-blooming cereus (Hylocereus triangularis, Appendix II), a kind of cactus with fragrant flowers and edible fruit, has been overharvested in the wild.
  • Cedar trees (Cedrela odorata, Appendix II) are commercially valuable and subject to overharvesting.
  • The barbwire apple-cactus (Acanthocereus tetragonus, Appendix II) is edible and is also collected as an ornamental plant.

“The South and Central America and Caribbean region is rich in biodiversity. It is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and remarkable wild species,” said CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero. “These new stamps from the United Nations Postal Administration will help to raise awareness of the region’s many endangered animals and plants and highlight the need to ensure that trade in these species is legal, traceable and sustainable.”

Thanawat Amnajanan, Chief of the United Nations Postal Administration said: “It is a great honor to work with the CITES Secretariat and with talented artists to illustrate and highlight these unique but endangered species on United Nations stamps each year. The United Nations Endangered Species stamp series is very popular and highly sought after by collectors. We look forward to presenting some new, beautiful stamps at the 50th anniversary of CITES in 2023.”

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For more information, contact:

David Whitbourn, CITES Secretariat – [email protected] and +41 79 477 0806.
Rorie Katz, Global Head of Graphics and Communications at UN Postal Administration – [email protected]