Stamp issues feature endangered birds, education

The birds are clockwise from the top, the spoonbill, the crested eagle, the yellow-tailed oriole and the harpy eagle at the 9 o'clock position.

This year’s Parque Nacional postage stamp issue features four birds that are in danger of extinction.

They are the roseate spoonbill, called in Spanish the garza rosada, (Platalea ajaja), the harpy eagle, called in Spanish the águila arpía (Harpia harpyja), the yellow-tailed oriole or chiltote (Icterus mesomelas) and the crested eagle or águila crestada (Morphnus guianensis).

The education issue

The stamps went on sale with little fanfare. The purpose of the stamps is to impress on the population the importance of preserving the natural riches that the country possesses, said Correos de Costa Rica, the postal service.

The collection features birds that are in danger for different reasons. The spoonbill, whose habitat is mainly the fresh and salt wetlands, is in danger from humans who have damaged the land and generated pollution. The crested eagle is in danger due to deforestation, and the yellow-tailed oriole is sought after for captivity because of its beautiful song.

The harpy eagle, the largest member of the species in the Americas, is endangered by deforestation and hunting, said the postal service. Correos de Costa Rica comes out each year with stamps showing a different aspect of the country’s national parks.

The postal service this year put out 60,000 stamps, just 15,000 of each. There also were 2,000 first-day covers.

The postal services also has issued two stamps honoring higher education. One stamp depicts part of a mural done by Eduarto Torijano at the Universidad de Costa Rica in San Pedro. The second depicts detail of the disarmament, work and peace monument done by Thelvia Marín at the Universidad de la Paz in Ciudad Colón

Each of the 30,000 stamps has a face value of 500 colons.

All of the current stamps, first-day covers and other presentations are available at the stamp store in the first floor of the main post office downtown. They also are available with a credit card by mail via the Correo Web site.

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