Newsroom Midwest Region

Postal Service Protects Pollinators

August 7, 2017

Protect Pollinators stamps are issued in a pane of 20, with four stamps of each design. Photo courtesy of U.S. Postal Service.
Protect Pollinators stamps are issued in a pane of 20, with four stamps of each design. Photo courtesy of U.S. Postal Service.

On August 3, the United States Postal Service celebrated pollinators by issuing a set of five forever stamps with the theme Protect Pollinators at the American Philatelic Society Stamp Show in Richmond, Virginia. More than 200 people attended the ceremony to learn about the importance of pollinators and how they can help conserve monarchs.

“We thank the U.S. Postal Service for paying tribute to the beauty and importance of pollinators with the Protect Pollinators Forever stamps,” says Charles Traxler, Midwest Assistant Regional Director for External Affairs. “Everyone can help monarchs and other pollinators by planting native milkweed and other nectar plants in your backyard, on your back forty, and on every back road in between,” continued Traxler.

The self-adhesive stamps are issued in a pane of 20, with four stamps of each design in a scattered arrangement in the pane reminiscent of a field of wildflowers. They show a monarch butterfly on a coneflower photographed by Karen Mayford, a western honeybee on a golden ragwort by George D. Lepp, a monarch butterfly on a red zinnia by Bonnie Sue Rauch, a western honeybee on a New England aster by Michael Durham, and a monarch butterfly on a goldenrod by Justin Fowler. The photo at the top of the pane is a different view of the monarch and goldenrod stamp by Justin Fowler.

The Protect Pollinators stamp set is the second set with the same theme issued during the past 10 years. In 2007 the Postal Service issued a set of four stamps designed by Steve Buchanan and featured four species in the act of pollination: Morrison’s bumblebee, a calliope hummingbird, a lesser long-nosed bat, and a Southern dogface butterfly. The 2007 and 2017 sets both appeal to popular demand from the mailing public for colorful first-class letter-rate stamps that feature floral or nature themes.

The monarch butterfly population has declined by more than 80 percent over the last 20 years, largely because of loss of habitat in their migration, breeding and overwintering grounds. These once-common, charismatic orange-and-black butterflies are benefiting from a nationwide conservation effort from government agencies to local citizens to keep the monarchs aloft.

Individuals can help butterflies, bees, and other pollinators by planting pollinator gardens that include native milkweed and flowers. Learn how to plant a garden.

Chuck Traxler, Midwest Assistant Regional Director for External Affairs, spoke on the importance of pollinators during the U.S. Postal Service Protect Pollinators Forever Stamp First-day-of-sale ceremony. Photo courtesy of U.S. Postal Service.
Chuck Traxler, Midwest Assistant Regional Director for External Affairs, spoke on the importance of pollinators during the U.S. Postal Service Protect Pollinators Forever Stamp First-day-of-sale ceremony. Photo courtesy of U.S. Postal Service.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

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