Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Unique Birds of Malaysia Stamp

Birds have often captivated the imagination and inspiration of mankind. From watching and studying this winged wonders, mankind has learned to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of these creatures.

Malaysia has over 742 species of birds, totaling, about 7% of the worlds population. Approximately 63 of these species are endemic (found no where else in the world) to our country.

Malaysian Peacock-Pheasant

The Malaysian Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron malacense) is one of the gems of Malaysia's bird species and is now on the list as one of the of the four species special or endemic to Peninsular Malaysia. Previously widespread in Thailand and Sumatra, today they are only confined to Central Peninsular Malaysia. The Malaysian Peacock-Pheasant is medium-sized, up to 53 cm long, brownish with blue-green oceilli on its wings, back and tail. It has elongated glossy green crest and bare orange facial skin. The female is smaller and its colours duller. Due to ongoing threats of habitat loss, poaching, small population size and limited range, the Malaysian Peacock-Pheasant is now classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN List ot Threatened Species.

Milky Stork

Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea) is a large wading bird of freshwater habitat, living in wetlands and wet farmlands across southern Asia. They are also found on the coast, where intertidal wetlands provide food and refuge. Milky Stork can reach a length of 97cm and has a thick, yellowish bill and blackish flight feathers. Both sexes look almost alike. this species can be found in Kampuchea, Peninsular Malaysia and most of the larger Indonesian Islands.

Malaysian Whistling Thrush

The Malaysian Whistling Thrush (Myophonus robinsoni) if one of the four endemic birds of Peninsular Malaysia. It is a rare and reclusive bird found in broadleaf evergreen forest, preferring streams as well as hills and highlands. About 26cm in size, the thrush has a small yellowish bill, bright metallic blue and black wings and body. Both sexes look alike. The resident species has also be classified by IUCN as Vulnerable.

Wreathed Hornbill

The Wreathed Hornbill (Aceros undulatus) is a colourful species of hornbill found in forests from far north-eastern India and Bhutan, east and south through mainland Southeast Asia and the Greater Sunda.

It is about 70 to 100cm in size, with both sexes looking almost alike. These birds prefer broad-leaf evergreen mixed deciduous forests and forest on islands and are found at a maximum elevation of about 1,800 metres.

This species has a large range with an estimated global Extent of Ocurrence of 1 million to 10 million km square. Globally, the Wreathed Hornbill is classified by IUCN as "Least Concern" because presently, it numbers seems to be stable.

Plain-pouched Hornbill

Worldwide, there are about 54 recognised species of hornbills and Malaysia is home to 10 species.

The Plain-pouched Hornbill (Aceros subruficollis) has a rather black body and a pouch without any visible marking, hence the name "plain-pouched". The females have a blue pouch while the males have a yellow pouch. Overall, the Plain-pouched Hornbill closely resembles the Wreathed Hornbill except for the lack of corrugations on its beak and the lack of any visible marking on its pouch.

Plain-pouched Hornbills are found at deciduous, dry and humid evergreen forests, mainly in the lowlands and even hills to about 1,000 m elevations. It has a varied diet, mainly comprising of fruits, but also invertebrates and small vertebrates. Plain-pouched Hornbills makes its habitat in the area between south-east Myanmar to northern Peninsular Malaysia.

Globally, the Plain-pouched Hornbill is classified as Vulnerable. The mass movement of the Plain-pouched Hornbills across the Belum-Temengor landscape has occurred over a decade since its discovery.

The highest number of Plain-pouched Hornbills in the world was documented by the MNS in 2008 at Temengor with a total of 3,261 individuals.

Technical Details

Date of Issue : 21st January 2009

Stamp Value : 30 sen, 50 sen (2 Designs)

Sheet Content : 20 Stamps

Miniature Sheet Size : RM5 (Embossed)

First Day Cover Value : 30 Sen

Perforation : 14

Paper : Watermarked SPM, Phosphor Coated

Printing Process : Lithography

Printer : Percetakan Keselamatan Nasional Sdn. Bhd.

Designer : Teh Yew Kiang

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