Friday, December 2, 2011

Wildlife in Norway–Sixth series

On  January 03,  2011,  the Norway Post issued the sixth  wildlife series stamp. This issue stamps comprises of 2 postage stamps which feature the endangered species, Polar bear and Muskox.

Kr 17,00: Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)

Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) is reckoned to be the largest land predator in the world, rivalled only by the Alaskan Kodiak bear.A full-grown polar bear on Svalbard weighs about 500 kg and usually has a maximum life span of 25 years.

The population there is now estimated at about 1500. The polar bear is the very symbol of the northern polar areas. It is the dream of everyone who visits the Arctic can see this species. Like as penguins are the signature species of Antarctica.

Hunting of polar bears has been prohibited on Svalbard since 1973. Climate changes are starting to create serious problems for the polar bear and researchers are concerned about the recent developments in the Arctic. The absence of summer ice in the polar basin may become a reality in the course of this century.
At the same time the winter period when new ice is formed may become shorter. This will restrict both living areas and the possibility of hunting seal. Seal represents more than 90 per cent of the polar bear’s diet.

Kr 27,00: Muskox (Ovibos moschatus)

The Muskox (Ovibos moschatus) is related to both sheep and cattle. Its muzzle, hooves and short tail resemble those of a sheep, while its size and the four teats of the female are comparable to a cow.

The muskox’s horns are also formed in the same way as those of cattle and sheep and are not shed like the antlers ofa deer. Compact and round in shape, the muskox mostly resembles a prehistoric animal. Its large head with its characteristic horns is low and appears to be attached directly to its body. It has a long, shaggy coat beneath which its legs are barely visible.

The muskox has its origins in Canada, Alaska and Greenland. It was imported from Greenland to Dovrefjell in Norway in 1932. The Norwegian population has since been supplemented and now numbers around 200.

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