WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act, legislation that would require the U.S. Postal Service to sell the approximately 45 million remaining Saving Vanishing Species Stamps left in stock. When the program began in 2011, the U.S. Postal Service printed 100 million stamps to help promote wildlife conservation.
“We owe it to our future generations to preserve our planet’s rich wildlife and natural resources so that they can continue to be enjoyed,” said Portman. “This successful stamp program has raised millions of dollars to fund conservation without any taxpayer money. I am hopeful my Senate colleagues will join me in ensuring that every last stamp is sold.”
“Combating serious threats to biodiversity, like habitat loss and poaching, requires smart solutions and collaborative efforts around the world,” said Carper, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “The conservation work financed by these stamps helps global partners protect their unique species from extinction and diversify their economies with new jobs in sustainable tourism. I hope this common sense, bipartisan legislation can reach President Biden’s desk in short order so that we can ensure all of these are sold.”
“During these uncertain times, every conservation action matters, and buying the Save Vanishing Species stamp represents a conservation action anyone can take,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “The Tiger Stamp is a reminder to all who use it that they are helping save African and Asian elephants, rhinos, tigers, great apes, marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises from extinction. Thank you to Senators Portman and Carper for introducing the bill, and for their support of wildlife conservation. I am hopeful Congress will take action and quickly reauthorize the Tiger Stamp!”
“By purchasing the Save Vanishing Species stamp, Americans have contributed nearly $6 million over the past decade to help save tigers, elephants, rhinos, great apes, and marine turtles in the wild. Given the significant threats facing these species, they need all the help they can get. The legislation introduced by Senator Portman and Senator Carper will ensure that this highly successful program can continue, giving a significant boost to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and its conservation efforts around the world,” said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president for Wildlife Conservation, World Wildlife Fund.
NOTE: On September 20, 2011, the U.S. Postal Service issued the Saving Vanishing Species Stamp, depicting an endangered Amur tiger cub, priced above the normal price of a first-class stamp. The difference in price from this first-class stamp is transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support the five Multinational Species Conservation Funds to protect tigers, rhinoceroses, Asian and African elephants, marine turtles, and great apes. These programs target poaching, illegal wildlife trade, habitat protection, and projects to incorporate species conservation into community development.
According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, since the first of these stamps went on sale in 2011, more than 55 million have been sold, which has generated nearly $6.3 million for the Multinational Species Conservation Funds and has helped finance 99 projects in 35 countries.
Portman and former Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) authored legislation that was signed into law to extend the sale of the stamp through September 2018. The FY2019, 2020, and 2021 government funding bills each included a provision requiring the U.S. Postal Service to continue selling the stamps through the end of the fiscal year This legislation would require the U.S. Postal Service to sell the approximately 45 million remaining stamps left in stock.