Issue Date: 12 February 2019
Isle of Man Post Office is pleased to present this issue of ten stamps to showcase the diversity of wildlife to be found, by the patient and observant, in the small but richly-varied landscape of the Isle of Man.
The striking Stonechat bird which forms our EU stamp value from this collection is our contribution to the EUROPA group of stamp nations ‘Birds’ themed collaborative project for 2019. To celebrate, we are excited to be part of PostEurop’s “Europa Stamps Bird Project 2019” which connects a sound file to our 2019 Europa stamp. The result is a smart and fun addition to this wonderful stamp issue which will add to your stamp viewing experience.
Laura McCoy, Curator of Natural History, Manx National Heritage writes…
The landscape of the Isle of Man has changed since it separated from the UK around 8,500 years ago. Surrounded by the Irish Sea, the Island is influenced by all its nearest neighbours, and yet is unique in its composition of wildlife, making it something to be treasured and protected. Islands can be hugely important in terms of supporting rare species and serve as refuges, but their sensitivity to environmental impacts increases the smaller they are. The continued presence of rarities like hen harriers, lesser-mottled grasshoppers and the greater butterfly orchid is by no means guaranteed and government agencies and wildlife groups manage and monitor the Manx countryside to support them.
Alien species, such as wallabies and harlequin ladybirds, compete with indigenous wildlife, impacting biodiversity and food chains. We are seeing more attention being given to curbing the spread of Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam and hope to have these tenacious plants eradicated in the coming years. We are also lucky enough to have a population of honey bees that, unlike many places in the world, have so far avoided being infected by invasive varroa mites because of the continued vigilance of the bee-keeping community.
Numerous areas are managed for wildlife on the Island, such as the Ayres, Cooildarry and Ballaugh Curragh, plus over ten percent of our territorial waters are marine nature reserves. There are many instances where the local community can help keep our Island a beautiful place to live and work, such as not disturbing ground-nesting birds, picking up dog waste, buying local produce and not dropping litter; we have already seen the huge impact that beach-cleans can have and the work does not stop there; helping experts monitor local wildlife at coordinated events can also feed into long term scientific studies.
Based on information supplied by the Isle of Man post office, Douglas, Isle of Man.