Lithuania EUROPA 2021 – Endangered National Wildlife.

Lithuania issued two stamps on 23 April 2021 on the Theme EUROPA -Endangered National Wildlife .Each stamp is of 0.75 Euro and print run is 22,000.

One of the postage stamps depicts a gray or otherwise known as a long-tailed seal. The Latin name for the long-tailed seal is derived from the Greek word meaning “little guinea pig.” This marine mammal can be up to 2.5 m long and weigh up to 300 kg. Underwater, the seal stays for up to 20 minutes. Lives about 40 years. Seals feed mainly on fish, so the ability to hunt freely and safely is crucial for them. Gray seals are common on the coasts of Canada, the United States, Northern and Western Europe, including the Baltic Sea. This species has been listed in the Lithuanian Red Data Book since 1989. The greatest threat to the extinction of gray seals is posed by man-made fishing, which can become trapped or injured in fishermen’s nets. XX a. In the 1930s, there were about 20,000 seals, At present, the population temporarily formed in Lithuanian waters consists of 10 to 50 seals. The Klaipėda Maritime Museum cares for sick or injured seals found at the seaside, and they are also bred here – in order to maintain the population of gray seals, some of the pups are released.

The second postage stamp depicts a lynx. This predator resembles a cat, but is much larger, and also has several distinctive features – long legs, a short tail and tufts of longer hair on the sides of the chin and on the ears. It is a forest animal, likes dense coniferous or mixed forests. Thought mice, ashes, deer, deer, but usually attack weaker, drooping beasts. Although the species has been listed in the Lithuanian Red Data Book since 2000, the lynx has not been hunted in Lithuania since 1979. The greatest damage to lynx is caused by deforestation, people visiting forests, as well as poaching, especially looping. Currently, about 30 – 40 animals live in Lithuanian forests, they are found only in some forest massifs – Biržai, Karšuva, Žaliojja forest, Taujėnai – Užulėnis, Kuliai, Rokiškis districts.

Both gray seals and lynx in the Lithuanian Red Data Book are classified in the first category, which means that the species is on the verge of extinction and can only be conserved by using special conservation measures.