In 2011, the United States Post Office printed 100 million Saving Vanishing Species Stamps to promote wildlife conservation, with a portion of the price of each stamp going directly toward conservation. While at least half of these stamps have sold, more than 40 million remain – many are not being actively sold in post offices. In April 2022, the House of Representatives passed the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act, which requires the post office to sell the remaining stamps. Congressional passage of the bill means Americans can directly help many at-risk species by paying a few cents more than first-class rates to purchase these unique stamps.
“If we want to save our world’s most threatened wildlife from extinction, we have to work collaboratively and creatively to combat threats like poaching and habitat loss. With [this] bill, Americans will continue to be able to directly help protect the at-risk species we love by purchasing postal stamps to help promote wildlife conservation,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “I’m pleased that the House has passed our commonsense, bipartisan bill.”
The sales of the stamps, which feature an endangered Amur tiger cub, have raised millions of dollars without costing taxpayers any money. More than $6 million has already been donated to the Multinational Species Conservation Funds.
The funds have been used in nearly 40 countries, supporting 135 conservation projects. These projects include efforts to save various animals, including African and Asian elephants, sea turtles, great apes, and rhinoceroses.
“We owe it to our future generations to preserve our planet’s rich wildlife and natural resources so that they can continue to be enjoyed,” added U.S. Senator Rob Portman. “This successful stamp program has raised millions of dollars to fund conservation without any taxpayer money. I am hopeful…that every last stamp is sold.”
Numerous national and international conservation groups are excited that these stamps may get a boost from the American government. Organizations such as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the World Wildlife Fund have voiced public support.
“The Save Vanishing Species Semipostal stamp gives every American the opportunity to easily and effectively contribute to programs that protect imperiled species. These stamps have raised over $6 million for critical conservation programs around the globe,” said Danielle Kessler, the US Country Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “Though stamps remain from the original printing, the Postal Service has not always offered them for sale. We applaud [the] legislation that will ensure these popular stamps remain available to postal customers. A win for these beloved species and for postal customers.”