Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Action for Species 4: Endangered Mammals - 13 April 2010 & Retail booklet 15 June 2010

The fourth in Royal Mail's new nature series, 'Action for Species' concentrates on mammals. The series examines UK species that are endangered, but thanks to the efforts of conservation groups and the public, we have become increasingly aware of the threats to our mammal populations, and many now benefit from legal protection and active conservation measures, and are showing encouraging signs of recovery. 

The issue comprises of ten 1st class stamps in a se-tenant block featuring UK insect species that are endangered. The British Isles is home to more than 60 species of mammals, but almost half of these have been introduced from elsewhere in the world – and they include some of the most abundant, like the rabbit and grey squirrel.

All ten mammals are the subject of conservation programmes due to the effect of adverse changes in their environment caused by pollution, the growth in roads and housing developments, and in some cases the introduction of non-native species, which have all contributed to a fall in numbers. Each stamp features a photograph of the insect together with its common and scientific name.


All images are copyright Royal Mail.
Wildlife Trusts and others wishing to use images on websites or in magazines should contact Royal Mail's Intellectual Property Department.

set of 10 annimals stamps.

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1. Humpback Whale

2. Wildcat<

3. Brown Long-Eared Bat

4. Polecat

5. Sperm Whale

6. Water Vole

7. Greater Horseshoe Bat

8. Otter

9. Dormouse

10. Hedgehog>

The mammals in detail

Humpback Whale – Megaptera novaeangliae (Average weight: 45 tonnes, total length: 13–15m)
This big, black whale with white under its tail has knobbly flippers that are longer than those of any other whale. Seen mainly in summer to the west of Britain, it arches its back to dive and feeds by sieving small fish from the water using a complex array of frilly plates found in its upper jaw instead of teeth.

Wildcat – Felis silvestris (Average weight: 5.5–6.5kg, total length: 75–110cm)
Shy and nocturnal, and now confined to the wilder parts of Scotland, the wildcat resembles a tabby cat with prominent black stripes on the body and legs. Its tail is thick and round-ended compared to the domestic cat’s thin, pointed tail, but there are many hybrids. Female wildcats can produce one family a year, in spring.

Brown Long-eared Bat – Plecotus auritus (Average weight: 6–10g, total wingspan: 26–29cm)
A small fluttery bat with enormous ears, this mammal is found throughout mainland Britain, except for the extreme north of Scotland. It commonly occurs in attics, as well as hollow trees and bird boxes, and often hovers to pick insects and spiders off trees. Completely harmless and a gentle creature, this is the bat most often found flying inside houses.

Polecat - Mustela putorius
(Weight between 0.7 kg for females to 1.7 kg for males)
The European Polecat (Mustela putorius), also known as a fitch, foumart, or foulmart, is a member of the Mustelidae  family, and is related to the stoats, otters, weasels and minks. Polecats are dark brown with a lighter bandit-like mask across the face, pale yellow underbody fur, a long tail and short legs. They are somewhat larger than weasels but smaller than otters. The European Polecat is the wild ancestor of the domesticated ferret.  (Source: wikipedia)

Sperm Whale – Physeter macrocephalus
(Average weight: 15–40 tonnes, total length: 10–15m)
The sperm whale, with its huge, blunt-ended head, is normally found in deep waters to the west of Britain, but occasionally strays into estuaries and gets stranded when the tide goes out. Usually solitary, the sperm whale sometimes lives in small groups. After swimming at the surface for about 10 minutes, it then dives deep for half an hour to feed, mainly on squid.

Water Vole – Arvicola terrestris (Average weight: 180–230g, total length: 29–31cm)
A rat-sized animal with a chubby face and dark chocolate-brown fur, the water vole is a good swimmer and lives beside ponds, rivers and ditches, where it digs burrows in the banks and feeds on juicy vegetation, roots and bark. It is found mainly in the lowlands, throughout mainland Britain, usually in small colonies.

Greater Horseshoe Bat – Rhinolophus ferrumequinum
(Average weight: 15–30g, total wingspan: 33–39cm)
Large and broad-winged, this species of bat has a distinctive cone-shaped nose-leaf through which its echolocation sounds are focused. Its wings and ears are pale brown, and the fur is grey or buff, with a reddish tinge in older animals. Found mainly in south-west England and south Wales, it hibernates in caves, cellars and mines from October to May, wrapping its wings around its body while roosting. Its food consists of beetles and other large-bodied insects, caught in flight or snatched from the ground. In summer, females seek out warm places such as barn roofs, where, after a 75-day gestation period, they give birth to a single baby each year, nearly a third of its mother’s weight.

Otter – Lutra lutra (Average weight: 6–8kg, total length: 100–110cm)
Large, long and sleek with short legs and webbed feet, the otter is normally seen only in or beside water, where it swims and dives frequently in pursuit of fish, crabs and other aquatic food. More widespread and numerous in western counties, many live along the shores of Scotland’s sea lochs. Otters will usually live alone or in a family group of a female and one to three young.

Dormouse – Muscardinus avellanarius (Average weight: 10–30g, average body length: 12–15cm)
This golden-yellow mammal is the only British mouse with a thick fluffy tail. Found mostly in southern England, it is usually nocturnal and hibernates over the winter. Active among the branches of shrubs and trees, it feeds on flowers, fruits and insects.

Hedgehog – Erinaceus europaeus
(Average weight: 500–1200g, total length: 20–25cm)
Britain’s only spiny mammal is found throughout the UK. Normally nocturnal, it snuffles about in gardens, farmland and woodland, feeding on worms, beetles and other small prey. It rolls into a tight ball when alarmed, and hibernates for five to six months over winter.

Technical details: The 35mm square stamps are designed by Jason Godfrey.  Photographic credits: humpback whale © Brandon Cole/Nature Picture Library; wildcat © Peter Cairns/Nature Picture Library; brown long-eared bat © Les Stocker/Photolibrary Group Ltd; polecat © Paul Hobson/Royal Mail; sperm whale © Thomas Haider/Photolibrary Group Ltd; water vole © Terry Whittaker; greater horseshoe bat © Biosphoto/Frank & Philippe/Still Pictures; otter © Paul Hobson; dormouse © Stephen Dalton/NHPA/Photoshot; hedgehog © Laurie Campbell/Royal Mail 

In sheets of 30/60 they are printed in lithography by Cartor Security Printing, perf 14½.

The stamp and postmark images are Copyright 2010 by Royal Mail.

Retail booklet - 15 June
A retail booklet of 6 self-adhesive stamps, being 4 x 1st class gold Machin definitives and Otter and Hedgehog mammals stamps - for first day postmarks see the retail booklets page

Endangered Mammals retail booklet of 6 stamps.

Special Postmarks
Postmarks available for the day of issue will be shown below here these may not be to scale. These postmarks cannot be obtained to order after 13 April.

postmark illustrated with an otter. postmark illustrated with a bat. Batts Corner non-illustrated postmark.  Postmark showing a hedgehog. Postmark showing an otter.
Ref FD1019
Official Philatelic Bureau FDI.
Ref FD1020
Official Batts Corner FDI postmark.
Ref FD1020NP
Official Batts Corner non-pictorial FDI postmark
Ref L11692
Sidlesham, Chichester (Hampshire)
Ref W11703
North Petherwin, Launceston (Cornwall)
postmark illustrated with logo of The Mammal Society. postmark illustrated with a whale. postmark illustrated with Scottish Wildcat. Postmark illustrated with a bat. Postmark illustrated with BHPS logo.
Ref L11693
The Mammal Society, Southampton.
Ref L11695
Whales Yard, London E 15
Ref S11701
Scottish Wildcat Association Edinburgh
Ref W11704
Mousehole, Penzance (Cornwall)
Ref W11705   British Hedgehog Preservation Society, Ludlow, Shropshire
Postmark showing an otter eating a fish. Postmark showing a hedgehog? Postmark showing an otter.

Ref M11698
Otter Croft, Birmingham
Ref L11691
Mammals, Farnham
Ref N11699 Otterspool, Liverpool (GBFDC Assoc)

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This page updated 4 June 2010

2010 stamp issues
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7 Classic Album Covers
7 Olympic Games retail book 1
26 Business & Customised Smilers MS
2 Girl Guide Centenary
25 350th ann of the Royal Society
25 Olympic Games retail book 2
1 Castles of Wales
11 Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
23 House of Stewart
30 Machin & Country Definitives
30 Festival of Stamps retail advertising book
13 Endangered Mammals
6 Accession of George V*
8 The King's Stamps* &
London 2010 Souvenirs *
Britain Alone (1940)*
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18 Halley's Comet Commemorative Sheet
15 House of Stuart
15 Endangered Mammals Retail Booklet
8 British Grand Prix Commemorative Sheet
Olympics & Paralympics II
& Olympic Games retail book 3

10 London Eye Commemorative Sheet
19 Great British Railways I
19 Retail booklets: 12x2nd, 6x1st
15 Battle of Britain - Spitfire Generic Sheet & Retail booklet
16 Medical Breakthroughs
17 Faststamps: Bird pictorials
12 Children's Books
12 Olympic Games retail book 4
26 Special Delivery Machins
28 Remembrance: the National Arboretum
2 Christmas - Wallace & Gromit


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