The Wildlife Conservation Department (WCD) in coordination with the Philatelic Bureau yesterday issued a new stamp series on national parks of Sri Lanka to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the declaration of protected areas.
The series is made up of six stamps to the value of Rs 5, 15, 25, 30, 40 and 50 and three colourful souvenir sheets. The protected areas of the country was first declared in 1938. There are various types of National Protected Areas in the country including strict nature reserves, national parks, nature reserves, sanctuaries and marine reserves.
WCD statistics reveal that Sri Lanka has three nature reserves, 22 national parks and 63 sanctuaries. The protected areas cover about 14 percent of the total land of the country. This is a higher percentage compared with other countries. The protected areas are important to nourish and protect water resources and catchment areas, wildlife, plants and cultural heritage of the country. It is of great advantage to promote tourism and hydro power generation in the country.
The six stamps depict Hawks-bill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate), Swamp Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), Elephant (Elephas maximus) - the largest land animal in the Asian continent, Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiatucus) - the tallest bird in Sri Lanka (over five feet in height), Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) and Spotted Deer (Axis axis) - the most common mammal in the dry and semi arid forest in the country.