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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Endangered Birds on Icelandic Stamps


World Wide Fund for Nature will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. On this occasion Iceland Post is issuing 4 stamps with endangered birds as motifs.

A comprehensive survey of endangered birds was first issued in the year 2000 listing 32 bird species which account for 42% of all Icelandic breeding birds. Not all these species are in immediate danger of extinction.

Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis) migrates mainly from northern regions. These birds stop over in Iceland for some weeks every year. The breeding population has increased somewhat in the last few decades.

White-fronted goose (Anser albifrons) is a migratory bird in Iceland. The population numbers around 25.000 birds and has been decreasing during the last decade.

Common scoter (Melanitta nigra) is one of the rarer species of ducks breeding in Iceland. It is a migratory bird and is wholly protected in Iceland.

Gadwall (Anas strepera) was probably first seen in Iceland in the 19th century. It is estimated that the breeding population numbers 200–300 pairs, mainly around Myvatn. It is a migratory bird with its main winter quarters in Ireland. It is wholly protected in Iceland.