Wet Tropics shown off across the country in new stamp set
TREE-DWELLERS OF THE TROPICS
Australia Post released a set of stamps yesterday that will nationally showcase animals from North Queensland’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
Australia Post teamed up with the Wet Tropics Management Authority to develop the Tree-dwellers of the Tropics stamps illustrated by renowned wildlife artist Kevin Stead.
The stamps depict Australia’s largest tree-climbing mammal, the Bennett’s Tree-kangaroo, the Lemuroid Ringtail Possum which is only found in the Wet Tropics of Queensland, and the Spectacled Flying-fox.
The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is the most biodiverse environment in Australia and
covers almost 9000km2 extending from west of Townsville to just south of Cooktown.
Senior Project Officer for the Wet Tropics Management Authority, Terry Carmichael, said the stamp set was a great tool to help shine a light on some of the Wet Tropics’ incredible creatures and the threats they face to their continued existence.
“In Australia, we take a lot of our living national heritage for granted. These stamps will help raise the level of consciousness of these incredible animals in the minds of Australians,” he said.
“It is fantastic to see the Wet Tropics unique animals getting some exposure. I am sure many Australians would not know we have tree-kangaroos and stunning white lemuroid possums living in the tops of giant rainforest trees in northern Australia.”
Mr Carmichael said tree-kangaroos have an interesting back-story.
“The current thinking is kangaroos and wallabies evolved from a tree-climbing, possum-like animal.
“Tree kangaroos reversed the family trend and went back into the trees. Tropical rainforests have vast quantities of leaves to eat and tree-kangaroos developed techniques for life in the trees,” he said.
Mr Carmichael added the Lemuroid Ringtail Possum is only found in the Wet Tropics of Queensland.
“They are generally a charcoal brown colour, but certain individuals are a beautiful, creamy white, with touches of orange on the shoulders,” he said.
Mr Carmichael said that this “white phase” Lemuroid Ringtail Possum was used as the poster child for conservationists during the campaign to get the Wet Tropics nominated for World Heritage listing in the 1980s.
The third tree dweller to be featured is the Spectacled Flying Fox.
Mr Carmichael said that while flying foxes get a lot of bad press, the Spectacled Flying-fox played an essential role in the eco-system by pollinating trees, shrubs and vines and dispersing their seeds.
“Flying foxes are the gardeners and farmers of the Wet Tropics rainforests. Flying foxes are delightful, intelligent and fascinating animals that deserve a break from us humans,” he said.
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