Save Vanishing Species: An Update

Little more than one year ago, the U.S. Postal Service issued the Save Vanishing Species semipostal stamp at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Each stamp is valid for postage at the First-Class one-ounce rate, which is currently 45 cents, though the stamps themselves cost 55 cents each (or $11 for a sheet of 20 stamps). Under the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act of 2010, USPS will transfer the net proceeds from the sale of this stamp to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support the Multinational Species Conservation Funds.

To date, nearly 15 million Save Vanishing Species stamps have been sold, raising more than $1.5 million for conservation efforts that benefit elephants, great apes, rhinoceroses, tigers, sea turtles, and other species.

The sales period for semipostal stamps is generally limited to no more than two years. This means that the Save Vanishing Species stamp will no longer be available for purchase beginning in late September 2013. Recently, however, Sens. Rob Portman and Tom Udall and Reps. Michael Grimm and Pedro Pierluisi have introduced legislation that would extend the sales period by four years.

“We have seen the way that the stamp has galvanized support for conservation among the American people over the past year,” said John Calvelli, Wildlife Conservation Society Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, in a recent press release. “I urge Congress to keep the momentum going on this fiscally responsible funding source for the world’s most iconic species by reauthorizing the stamp for another four years.”

You can still purchase the Save Vanishing Species stamps at Post Offices and online from The Postal Store. The notecard set includes 10 cards featuring the stamp art, 10 matching envelopes, and 10 stamps.