Frogs Forever! Latest USPS Release

2019-06-15 Sat

The USPS is going to release four non-denominated (55¢) forever stamps featuring four different frogs on 9th July at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Morrison Knudsen Nature Centre in Idaho. A double-sided pane of 20 stamps will be released featuring a Pacific tree frog, northern leopard frog, American green tree frog and a squirrel tree frog. The stamps also feature the inscriptions “FOREVER” and “USA”. 10 million such booklets were printed by Banknote Corporation of America using the Alprinta 74 offset press. Artist Nancy Stahl created realistic and highly detailed digital illustrations. The stamps were designed by USPS art director William J. Gicker, while typography was added by Greg Breeding. A black first-day cancel mark shows a design depicting a lily pad, and the coloured special cancel depicts two of the four frogs shown on the stamps.

The Pacific tree frog is extremely small and is also known as “Hollywood frog” as they have been featured in several television shows and movies. The northern leopard frog is known for its unique rattle-like snoring call which is followed by many “chuckling” notes. American green tree frog is also known as rain frog as they make a lot of noise together when it’s just about to rain. It’s also known as cowbell frog as its short call sounds like a cowbell from a distance. The squirrel tree frog is mainly found from southeastern Virginia to Florida and in the Gulf Coast to Texas. Its quack-like call sounds like a grey squirrel’s voice.

Frogs are generally found everywhere except Antarctica. Over 90 species of frogs live in the US, including the ones featured on the latest stamps. These amphibians fall under the salamanders and caecilians class of limbless creatures. Toads are frogs with drier or warty skin. Frogs can be carnivorous or omnivorous. Most of them live near fresh water, while some live in trees.

A fungus called chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been infecting amphibians since 20 years. This has sadly led to the reducing populations of almost 500 amphibian species and the extinction of almost 90 species. Amphibians are vital elements of the food pyramid and their declining numbers will affect biodiversity around the world to a great extent.

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Image Courtesy: The USPS