Friday, March 20, 2015

South Korea 2015
Endangered Wildlife - Wolf (Canis Lupus)

ISSUE DATE:26 March 2015 
CIRCULATION:500 000 (each)
THEME:Endangered Wildlife
PRINTER:Royal John Enschede for POSA
PRINTING PROCESS:offset, 5 colors
STAMP SIZE:36.5mm x 26.8mm

Many animals are on the verge extinction around the world due to human activities, such as overhunting and overfishing and excessive exploitation of natural resources. The wolf is one of them. Wolves once ranged in the mid and northern regions of Korea, including Samcheok of Gangwon-do, Mungyeong and Cheongsong of Gyeongsangbuk-do, and Suanbo of Chungcheongbuk-do, but none have been sighted since the 1960s. The wolf was designated as an endangered species in 1998 and is currently designated and managed as Class 1 Endangered Wildlife. 


Wolves descended from the same family as dogs but are different in several respects. Their tails are longer and usually carried down, and they have wider foreheads, greater separation between the eyes, longer and pointed snouts, longer and thicker legs, and always straight-standing ears. Their senses of sight, smell, and hearing are especially well developed. In fact, a wolf can smell an object more than two kilometers away. Wolves have varying hair density and color depending on the climate and natural characteristics of their habitat. While they primarily feed on animals such as rabbits, raccoons, goats, and deer, they do eat certain types of fruits. Howling is an essential means of communication for wolves traveling in packs. A wolf howls to communicate with another more than 10 kilometers away and can use howling to assemble its pack quickly in the case of an imminent threat.

Although the wolf is a violent predatory animal, it is the only mammal that remains monogamous for life. A wolf will readily give its own life for its mate and offspring. The male wolf gives meat from a kill to the female wolf and offspring first, and young wolves, even after separating from parents, often visit their mother and spend time together. Wolves generally breed in January and February, stay pregnant for about 60 days, and produce typically four to ten offspring in a single litter. The female wolf establishes several dens, including small caves or holes dug out of the ground, and hurriedly moves her pups to any one of them upon detecting a threat. The Special Stamps portray wolves as animals with strong family affection, not as cold-hearted predators. The stamps were printed with gold foil and specially coated to render a glossy appearance, making them even more valuable additions to any stamp collection. 


Stamp images and description thanks to Korea Post

South Korea Post