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Harmony with Nature Series No 3 stamps from Japan

Harmony with Nature Series No 3 stamps from Japan
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Japanese post issued the third series of stamps dedicated to rare wild animals and plants of Japan. The series aims to raise attention to endangered representative of Japanese flora and fauna and to emphasize the symbiosis of Japanese nation with nature.

The stamps depict:

The sable (Martes zibellina); it's a species of marten which inhabits forest environments of Hokkaido in Japan. It has historically been harvested for its highly valued fur, which remains a luxury good to this day. Because it was harvested for its highly valued fur, it is prohibited to hunt the sable in Japan from 1920. At present, it is widely distributed in Hokkaido except the Southwest, but hybridization and sable's competition with related species artificially introduced from Honshu is cause for concern. The sable was included in the list of wild animals' species at risk of extinction in Japan.

The Ryukyu Robin (Erithacus komadori); it is a bird endemic to the Ryukyu Islands, of Japan. Living in the lush forests, it prefers the swamp. Because of its wonderful voice and beautiful appearance, it has been captured in aviary since ancient times. Its number has also decrease due to predation by the mongoose and deforestation of its habitat increased in recent years. It is classified under "endangered type II" by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment.

Primula kisoana; it is a perennial plant of the primrose family of about 10-20 cm height which grows only in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture. It has 1-3 stage(s) of magenta flowers united in inflorescences of 5-15 pieces. It is estimated that approximately 8,000 species of this flower were growing in the 1970s, now the number is decreased to 800 species. Collection for gardening is the main cause of the plant's decline, the impact of deforestation and road construction are also to be pointed out. The Ministry of the Environment of Japan put the plant under an extremely high risk of extinction.

Neolucanus castanopterus; it's a beetle of the Family Lucanidae. Is one of the largest common stag beetles in Japan growing to about 35-60mm in length. It is distributed only in Okinawa Yonaguni Island. It has a dark brown body, and lives mainly in natural forest. The population of the beetle is decreasing due to collection for sale purpose. The Ministry of the Environment of Japan classified it as "endangered IA class".

Common Orient Clam (Meretrix lusoria); it is a species of saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Veneridae, the Venus clams. This species occurs in Japan.

It is commercially exploited for sushi, and its shells are traditionally used to make white go stones. It is classified as "endangered type II" by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan.

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