Endangered animals of Spain – so gorgeous, but so rare

October 3rd, 2014

According to info got by FindYourStampsValue.com Spanish Post is to issue a new series of stamps dedicated to its endangered animals. Four endangered species make up the Protected Fauna emission that is presented, for the first time, in a novel sheet with the die-cut profiles of two of the species. The stamps are to be released on the 20th of October.

The Eagle Owl (Búho real) is a nocturnal bird of prey that mainly feeds on small rodents, such as mice, squirrels, dormice and rabbits, although it also hunts birds. It has a short, thick trunk, wide wings, a curved beak to tear apart its prey and very large, sharp claws. On its head there are two large V-shaped tufts of feathers, which give it a distinctive appearance, as do its two huge, orange-coloured eyes. The bird lives in areas of large forests far from humans and nests in rocky areas protected from the rain.

The Otter (Nutria) is a mammal that almost always lives along riverbanks bordered by thick vegetation. With a large, slightly flat body, it has short legs and a membrane between its fingers which allows it to swim. It mainly feeds on fish, although it also eats frogs, rats and water birds. With thick, lustrous and waterproof fur, the otter has been on the brink of extinction from the marketing of its pelt. It is a very sociable animal and spends its time playing and sliding through the sandy areas of the riverbanks.

The Great Bustard (Avutarda) is the largest of the Iberian birds and one of the heaviest that fly, reaching up to 16 kilograms. It lives in the vast cereal plains in the centre and south of the peninsula. During the mating season, the males develop their courtship displays, "the wheels", adopting the shape of white feathered balls and emitting mating calls to attract females. The great threats for the species stem from the disappearance of traditional agriculture and from urban development.

The Imperial Eagle (Águila imperial), a large bird of prey with a strong beak and sturdy claws, is one of the most emblematic birds on the Iberian Peninsula. It lives in wooded flatland and upland areas where rabbits are in abundance. Their diet is based on hunting birds, reptiles and rabbits. It can grow to a wing spread of 2 metres. It nests in large trees such as cork oaks, pines and eucalyptus. Electricity poles, poison in fields and the destruction of its habitat are its main enemies.