Australian Native Baby Animals

Some of Australia’s most popular native baby animals will be featured in a new stamp issue designed to coincide with the release of a series of five coins by the Perth Mint. The stamps feature a bilby, dingo, kangaroo, koala and sugar glider and comprise one domestic rate stamp (60 cents) and four international rate stamps ($1.60, $1.65, $2.35 and $4.70).

The Australian Bush Babies stamps are available from 1 July 2011. The stamp issue also includes five stamp and coin covers, each depicting a different baby animal. These special covers feature an exclusive $1.00 aluminium-bronze coin from the Perth Mint, which are only available as part of this product.

The stamp and coin covers will be available at regular intervals over a six month period, details of which will appear in the Stamp Bulletin Australia, a free publication from Australia Post, and online at www.auspost.com.au/stamps.

“Australian native animals are a very popular theme amongst collectors and the public and we hope this delightfully illustrated stamp issue appeals to young collectors. The international rate stamps are also a great way of showcasing our favourite native baby animals to a world-wide audience as well,” said Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt.

The 60-cent domestic rate stamp features the Bilby (Macrotis lagotis), which is a nocturnal marsupial with distinctive rabbit-like ears, greyish fur and a beautiful bushy black tail with a white tip. Bilby babies are generally born between March and May and stay in the pouch for about 80 days.

The $1.60 international rate stamp features the Dingo (Canis lupus dingo), Australia’s native dog. Although pups, generally four to five in a litter, stay with their mother while learning how to hunt, they usually live in packs, which also help rear them.

The $1.65 international rate stamp features the Kangaroo which is probably Australia’s most recognisable marsupial. All female kangaroos have front-opening pouches where the joey, or baby kangaroo, is raised until it is old enough to fend for itself.

The $2.35 international rate stamp features the Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), which is one of Australia’s most loved animals. The baby koala, like the baby kangaroo, is called a joey and can spend the first seven months of its life in its mother’s pouch. When it has outgrown the pouch it rides on its mother’s back, or rests against her chest learning survival skills.

The $4.70 international rate stamp features the Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps), which is a shy, gliding possum. A membrane extending from its fifth finger to its ankle enables it to glide between trees using its long bushy tail for stability and steering. This tiny tree-dwelling marsupial can glide through the air for up to 100 metres.

The images used in the Bush Babies stamps and coins were illustrated by artist Elise Martinson and provided courtesy of the Perth Mint.

The Australian Bush Babies stamp products also include a first day cover, stamp pack, maxicard set of five, and self-adhesive sheetlets of five x $1.65 and five x $2.35 stamps.