Hainan Gibbons once more spotlighted on China Post stamps

By Chen Shumin / HICN / Updated: 15:07,12-December-2021

China Post issued a set of special stamps entitled “National Key Protected Wildlife (First-class)” last Friday. Three out of the eight selected creatures, including the Hainan Gibbon, the Chinese White Dolphin, and the Green Sea Turtle, can be seen in south China’s Hainan Province, especially the gibbon, which has been spotlighted before on China Post stamps.

Hainan Gibbons featured on a special stamp issued by China Post on December 3.

The Hainan Gibbon (Nomascus hainanus), native to Hainan Island, is the most endangered primate in the world. It is a flagship species whose health status provides critical information on the overall condition of Hainan’s tropical rainforest. Currently, there are only 5 Hainan Gibbon family groups with a combined total of just 35 individuals, who all live in the Bawangling Nature Reserve. The International Union for Conservation Nature lists the Hainan Gibbon as an independent species, separate from all other gibbon species.

Hainan Gibbons appeared on China Post stamps for the first time in 2002, as part of a set of stamps entitled “Gibbons”. The black gibbon on the stamp is giving an open-mouthed howl, announcing his ownership of the domain and warning other groups of gibbons not to get too close. Sometimes gibbons howl to express their emotions such as joy, anger, or sadness. As Hainan has carried out an acoustic monitoring project on the gibbons, the howls and other sounds of Hainan Gibbons may be better understood in the future.

The black Hainan Gibbon on the special stamp issued by China Post in 2002.

In addition to the China Post stamps, Hainan Post also issued an individualized stamp featuring a couple of Hainan Gibbons for a series of special commemorative envelopes for the first China International Consumer Products Expo held in Haikou from May 7 to 10, as the Expo selected the Hainan Gibbons as its mascot in order to show the event’s core concept of ecological conservation.

The commemorative envelope for the first China International Consumer Products Expo featuring Hainan Gibbon stamps.

The other two creatures, the Green Sea Turtle and the Chinese White Dolphin, can be spotted in the ocean nearby Hainan Island. Hailed as “mermaids” and “giant pandas of the sea” in China, the Chinese White Dolphins newly discovered in the sea area southwest of Hainan were judged to be an independent troupe after analysis of recordings of their whistles and other sounds.

Chinese White Dolphins featured on a special stamp issued by China Post on December 3.

With the Hainan Gibbon and the Chinese White Dolphin, now there are a total of 56 China Post stamps with clear connections to Hainan, thanks to Hainan’s pleasant weather, abundant resources, and profound culture.



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