India on Marine Mammals 1991

Complete Set of 2 nos of postage stamp on the Endangered Marine Mammals – River Dolphin (Platanista Gangetica) and Sea Cow (Dugong Dugon) :

1269 River Dolphin [India Stamp 1991]1270 Sea-Cow [India Stamp 1991]Issued by India

Issued on Mar 4, 1991

Issued for : The Department of Posts hopes that these stamps will create an awareness for preservation not only of the habitat of these two species as well as the species themselves but also about the need to protect our environment.

Description of Design : The special postage stamps and the First Day Cover are based on the art works provided by Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Cochin. The First Day Cover depicts a Sea Dolphin. Cancellation is designed by Ms Nenu Gupta.

Type : Stamp, Mint Condition

Colour : Multicolour

Denomination : 400 & 650 Paise

Overall size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.

Printing size : 3.55 x 2.54 cms.

Perforation : 13 x 13

Paper : Imported Un W/M Adhesive Gravure Coated Stamp Paper

Number printed : 10,00,000

Number per issue sheet : 35

Printing Process : Photogravure

Printed : India Security Press

About : 

  • All over the world now there is an acute consciousness about the necessity to preserve our environment so that the equilibrium of nature is not disturbed any further. The advances in science and technology which have led to tremendous growth of industrialisation and extensive cultivation with little thought for protection of environment and natural resources have already played havoc with the delicate eco-system of earth. Rapid deforestation, discharge of industrial and chemical waste into water resources, coupled with uncontrolled atmospheric pollution, has already led to a large number of species of both flora and fauna becoming extinct. There are consistent efforts all over the world to ensure the protection and restoration of the environment.
  • To highlight and uphold this noble cause, the Department of Posts is issuing a set of two marine mammals which are on the endangered list.
  • Sea Cow or the Dugong dugon is generally from 2 to 2.6 metres long. The neck is absent and the massive head has somewhat truncated appearance anteriorly. The mouth of the animal is small. Males carry a pair of tusks in the upper jaw and in both sexes there is a horny pad in the lower jaw concealing rudimentary teeth. The colour is variable from dull brownish grey dorsally to grey on the sides and fresh colour ventrally. This species is generally found on the shores of Indian Ocean. However, they have been observed in Gulf of Kutch, on the coast of Malabar and around Andaman IslandsAt one time, it was very abundant in the Gulf of Mannar. The females with young have been seen throughout the year but those in the Gulf of Mannar have not been observed to clasp their young and stand up with part of the body showing above water as the Red Sea Dugons have been noted to do. The later habit has probably given rise to the numerous stories about mermaids.
  • The River Dolphin or Platanista Gangetica is found in the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Indus. They are also seen in the tidal limits but do not enter the sea. Their regular absence from their normal habitat in the river during the hot months is an indication of their migratory tendencies. During the monsoon months, the Gangetic dolphin descends to tidal waters and is often caught in the fishing nets. The breeding habits of the animal are not fully known but it has been noticed that one or rarely two young are born between April and July.
  • Text courtesy : Dr. R. S. Lal Mohan.

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