The "Save Vanishing Species" Stamps are Here!

The U.S. Postal Service is working to “stamp out” extinction with the release of its new “Save Vanishing Species” semipostal stamp. Only the fourth ever semipostal to be created, this stamp will help fund the conservation of some of the world’s most iconic endangered species—including those in our African Heartlands.

Save Vanishing Species stamp

Artist Nancy Stahl created this compelling image of an Amur tiger cub to symbolize all of the endangered wildlife this stamp will help protect—including many in our African Heartlands. Purchase your stamp today and support species conservation! Photo courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.

The stamp is the culmination of a decade-long effort by the Multinational Species Coalition—a group of conservation organizations, of which AWF is a longtime member—to increase the funding available to the Multinational Species Conservation Fund (MSCF). The MSCF supports congressionally authorized grant programs that fund the conservation of rhinos, elephants, tigers, marine turtles, and great apes. AWF and some of our programs in the Heartlands have been beneficiaries of these grants in the past, including most recently our work to study and protect bonobos in the Congo Heartland, and before that, our efforts to secure elephant habitat in the Zambezi and Kilimanjaro Heartlands.

“The creation of this stamp is an innovative way to ensure the continued survival of some of the world’s most celebrated—and also most threatened, endangered, and vulnerable—wildlife,” said AWF Director of Program Design & Policy Jimmiel Mandima, who is AWF’s representative for the Multinational Species Coalition. “It represents a significant achievement in international conservation efforts, and we believe it will greatly benefit African wildlife.”

The stamp will sell for 11 cents more than a first class mail stamp, and those extra 11 cents will go toward Congressionally authorized grant programs that support the conservation of rhinos, elephants, tigers, marine turtles, and great apes. Eleven cents may not seem like much, but a little helps a lot: The three semipostal stamps that preceded “Save Vanishing Species” raised an average of $30 million for their respective causes over the course of several years. At AWF, we have high hopes that these stamps will be equally successful in raising revenue for the MSCF.

Funds from the stamp will be divided between grant programs for the conservation of African and Asian elephants, great apes, marine turtles, rhinos, and tigers. The funds distributed through these grant programs often serve as “seed money” for conservation projects, on occasion leveraging up to three times as much in additional funding from corporate, governmental, and private partners. These programs have the strong support of groups as varied as animal welfare groups, sportsmen, conservationists, veterinarians, zoos, and circuses.

US Postal Service collectors stamp for endangered wildlife species

In addition to helping to protect vanishing species worldwide, this stamp is also a collector’s item. The U.S. Postal Service is selling a special First Day of Issue Collection of 20 stamps and other items for the philatelists out there. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.

Thanks to all our partners and members who worked hard to make these stamps a reality and created this easy way for all Americans to support the conservation of elephants, rhinos, and great apes.

We should not, however, rest on our laurels too soon. We have a lot of work left to do to make sure that this stamp is the success story for wildlife that it has the potential to be. And for that, we need your help getting the word out about the “Save Vanishing Species” stamp. Share our link to buy the stamp on Facebook, Twitter, or however you communicate with your network. Let’s all do our part for wildlife. And, of course, put in your 11 cents and buy the stamp today.