Friday, August 08, 2008

Fauna stamps on Russian covers

I recently received two different covers from Russia franked with nice and interesting fauna stamps. I decided to show them together.Here is the first one.
The three large stamps have been issued on the 1st of October 2007 as a set picturing rare animals. The dark color of the stamps is rather unusual and striking and I like the diamond shape. Those stamps have also been issued in the form of a souvenir sheet. Here is a picture of the sheet I found on the web.

The three animals that are pictured on the stamps are (from left to right) :
- the European bison (Bison bonasus), which is smaller than its American cousin
- the snow leopard (Uncia uncia) which has the particularity that it can not roar !
- the oriental stork (Ciconia boyciana), whose scientific name is a tribute to Robert Henry Boyce

All those three animals are endangered, hence the WWF logo on the left side of each stamp.

The two other stamps of the cover are definitive ones. The one on the top was issued in 2003 and pictures the Gatchinsky palace and a statue of the emperor Paul I. I already mentioned the stamp on the bottom in a previous

The second cover also bears a set of very nice fauna stamps.

This set was issued on the 29th of August 2006 and pictures fauna of the Sakha Republic, which is a federal republic of Russia, whose capital is Yakutsk. Each stamp pictures a different animal with its baby. A very charming set of stamps. It was also issued in the form of a souvenir sheet that I show you below.

The animals that are pictured are :
- the Ross’s gull (Rhodostethia rosea) whose common name is a tribute to James Clark Ross (1800-1862) a British naval officer
- the Siberian crane (Grus leucogeranus)
- the polar bear (Ursus maritimus)
- the horse (Equus caballus)
- the reindeer (Rangifer tarandes) also called the caribou in North America

I rather like the two sets used on these covers, I must admit. I had the chance to mint versions of these stamps few months ago through an exchange circuit, but I did not expect seeing them actually used on a cover. That was a nice surprise (so many fauna stamps are issued to please collectors and are never seen on covers !).

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