Wild life of Switzerland – new stamp issue

Wild life of Switzerland – new stamp issue
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Swiss Post is launching a new series of stamps entitled "Wildlife". The set comprises four stamps featuring species found in the Swiss National Park, the Val Müstair and throughout the rest of Switzerland, namely the mouse weasel, the Alpine marmot, the spotted nutcracker and the red deer.

Mouse weasel - Least weasels from various parts of its range vary greatly in size. The body is slender and elongated and the legs and tail short. At high altitudes and in the northern part of its range, the coat becomes pure white in winter. Small rodents form the largest part of the least weasel's diet but it also kills and eats rabbits and other mammals, and occasionally birds, birds' eggs, fish and frogs.

The Alpine marmot is a species of marmot found in mountainous areas of central and southern Europe. Alpine marmots live at heights between 800 and 3,200 metres in the Alps. They are excellent diggers, able to penetrate soil that even a pickaxe would have difficulty with, and spend up to nine months per year in hibernation

The spotted nutcracker is a passerine bird slightly larger than the Eurasian jay. It has a much larger bill and a slimmer looking head without any crest. The feathering over its body is predominantly a chocolate brown with distinct white spots and streaks. The wings and upper tail are virtually black with a greenish-blue gloss. It is one of three species of nutcracker.

Red deer are ruminants, characterized by an even number of toes, and a four-chambered stomach.  Although at one time red deer were rare in parts of Europe they were never close to extinction. Reintroduction and conservation efforts, especially in the United Kingdom and Switzerland, have resulted in an increase of red deer populations, while other areas, such as North Africa, have continued to show a population decline.

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