Stamp of The Day

Postage stamps issued with pictures of wildlife/nature become Collector's items. In our routine brush with postage stamps most of us, unless we are ardent stamp collectors, miss these colourful stamps. brings you a feature wherein we examine each day a special stamp issued by the Department of Posts to commemorate an endangered species or to celebrate a beautiful natural heritage.


Postage stamps highlight Asian lions

The Vice President of India, Shri Krishan Kant released a set of four postage stamps on the 'Asiatic Lion', on Oct 4, 1999. Issued by the Department of Posts to focus attention on the need to protect wildlife, in particular, the much diminished population of Asiatic Lions, three of the stamps are in the denomination of Rs.3/- and another in Rs.15/-.

Through the issue, the Department of Posts, draws attention to India's long tradition and abiding faith in conservation of nature, and the need to have conservation education at formal and non-formal levels, through teaching institutions, media, voluntary agencies and movements for public awareness. The Asiatic Lion once upon a time had wide distribution covering Mesopotamia, Arabia, Persia and major parts of northern and central India. However, over-hunting and disturbance in its habitat due to agriculture, the disappearance of open grass and scrub forest lands led to its wide ranging extinction from all areas except the Gir Forest in Saurashtra in Gujarat. At the turn of this century there were very few lions left, when the erstwhile ruler of the Junagadh state, imposed strict protection measures, including a ban on trophy hunting.

Conservation of wildlife measures, after independence, steps taken by the Government for management, protection and improvement of habitat of the Gir Lion Sanctuary, have led the population of these Lions to stabilize around 280. The species of the Asiatic Lion has been saved, and its habitat, in fact the entire Eco-systems restored to health. The Gir forest is the last refuge of the Asiatic Lion in the world, other than those protected in various zoos.



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