WWF Endangered Species 2016
Since over 50 years, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has sought to conserve wildlife around the world by engaging science and working closely with local communities. The WWF was set up in 1961 when the Morges Manifesto was signed calling for an international conservation organisation to mobilise massive resources around the world to fund global conservation priorities. Since then the Fund has grown to be one of the largest environmental organisations in the world acting locally through a network of over 90 offices in over 40 countries.
According to its 2014 Living Planet Report wildlife populations of vertebrate species that include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, have declined by 52 percent over the last 40 years. Conscious of this, the WWF has worked to preserve wildlife through various initiatives and some success stories range from southern Africa's black rhino to black bucks in the Himalayas. These have helped to protect rich and a varied ecosystem while ensuring humanity continues to benefit from nature.
To accomplish its ambitious goals, the WWF works to educate and influence people into making sustainable choices and decisions, including those who work in business and make decisions on the use of natural resources, as well as those who work in government and set policy that impacts nature.
As an international organisation the WWF has been commemorated on the postage stamps of many countries. These beautiful stamps generally feature wildlife found in the stamp-issuing country. This stamp issued illustrates the Shearwater, a species which is commonly seen along the Maltese seaside. The common name, 'Shearwater' describes the birds' habit of gliding on stiff wings along the troughs of waves. In Maltese the bird is known as "Ciefa".
Shearwaters, which range from 35 to 65cm in length, nest in burrows on offshore islands and coastal hills in the North Atlantic, eastern South Atlantic, the Pacific and throughout the Mediterranean. These birds feed on fish, squid and other marine creatures while searing out at sea. Large flocks of Shearwaters are commonly seen between March and November, scavenging behind trawlers together with other sea birds. The Shearwater has a very particular call, similar to a crying baby.
This bird breeds in colonies on rocky islands and cliffs, using cavities and burrows. They are frequent breeders and their eggs hatch within 53 days. The largest colony in the Maltese Islands is found at Ta' Cenc cliffs while some pairs also breed on Comino as well as on the Fungus Rock at Dwejra Bay, Gozo.
Technical DetailsIssue Date: 15.04.2016
Designer: MaltaPost p.l.c.
Illustrator: Photography: Fran Trabalon
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: sheet size: 120mm x 80mm, stamps size:35mm x 35mm