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The Green Life: Saving Tigers, a Stamp at a Time

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May 13, 2011

Saving Tigers, a Stamp at a Time

Tiger In September, anyone who sends a letter can help save endangered wildlife by buying the USPS's  "Save Vanishing Species" stamp.

The Multinational Species Conservation Fund gets 11 cents from every stamp sold; the organization's Wildlife Without Borders program is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

It may not seem like much. What good can a measly 11 cents do a dwindling population of Amur tigers or Asian elephants? Quite a lot, it turns out. Here's some perspective: Sales of the stamp supporting breast-cancer research raised nearly $68 million in the space of 10 years. With 24 million pieces of mail sent through the USPS every hour, 11 cents a stamp is a big deal.

While the stamp features an Amur tiger cub, the MSCF strives for the conservation of many other species, having already made a significant impact on recovery via initiatives such as sustainable-agriculture training in Zambia (to provide income alternatives for poachers) and establishing migration corridors for Amur tigers in Russia.

The new stamp marks a major victory for the Wildlife Conservation Society, who headed campaign efforts for the stamp bill H.R 1454 since 2000, when the idea was first proposed by the World Wildlife Fund. After sailing through the House and Senate with bipartisan support (at least we can agree on some things), Obama signed the bill into law last September. As the last step in a long journey, the stamp design, by artist Nancy Stahl, was revealed yesterday.

You can preorder stamps or wait to buy them in post offices starting in September.

--Christa Morris

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