Bulletin – 821 – 28th July 2013 – Yala National Park

Department of Posts,
Postal Headquarters,
D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha,
Colombo 01000.

The Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Posts will issue six new postage stamps in the denominations of Rs. 5.00, Rs. 15.00, Rs. 25.00, Rs. 30.00, Rs. 40.00 and Rs. 50.00 depicting six selected animals living in the Yala National Park and three Bulletins on 28th July, 2013, to coincide with the completion of seventy five years of the network of Wild Life Reserves in Sri Lanka, as the fourth issue in the series of stamps on Sri Lanka’s National Parks.

Wild Life Reserves Network in Sri Lanka

As for the objectives of the Wild Life Reserves Network of Sri Lanka which has evolved for a period of seventy five years now since February, 1938, in addition to the long term protection of Wild Life resources, it contributes to a large extent to the national economy of the country as well.

Under the legal provisions of the Protection of Fauna and Flora Ordinance, following are the objectives of the Wild Life Reserves declared so far:

Regularization of environmental tourism associated with Wild Life Reserves.
Long term protection of the upper catchment areas of the main rivers in Sri Lanka which provide water for agriculture, generation of electricity and the ordinary life of the public.
Protection of the catchment areas of reservoirs built under the largescale multi-purpose development projects implemented in Sri Lanka.
Ensuring the longterm existence of unique eco-systems.
Long term protection of natural habitats of rare wild life species.
Protection of the natural environment around cultural heritages.
Protection of farm crops and animal wild types.

The total area of the Wild Life Reserves in Sri Lanka at present amounts to 14% of the entire land mass of the country. This is the highest value among the South Asian countries and the reason has been the declaration of the catchment areas of the reservoirs whenever they were built under the largescale development schemes, as Wild Life Reserves in order to protect such areas in the long run. From the Mahaveli reservoirs alone, that receive protection within the Wild Life Reserve network, water is supplied for the production of 22% of the annual rice production of Sri Lanka.

The amount of electricity added to the national grid out of the electricity generated by the Power Stations of Inginiyagala, Uda Walawe, Victoria, Randenigala and Rantembe amounts to 403 MW That is over 27% of the national electricity production.

Out of the total area of Wild Life Reserves in Sri Lanka, 55% consists of National Parks and all the Sanctuaries amount to 35%. There is legal sanction for the tourist industry within the Wild Life Reserves belonging to both these categories and accordingly, there is opportunity for the provision of services and facilities relating to the tourist industry in 90% of the Wild Life Reserves. Today tourist facilities are available only in the National Parks.

Yala National Park

The Yala National Park was named as a Game Reserve in the year 1900 and was declared a Forest Park on 23rd February, 1938. Divided into five zones, this is the second largest National Park in Sri Lanka. This Park with an extent of 979 square km, is situated 300km away from Colombo and is the habitat for a large number of faunal species.

This Reserve consists of one of the largest panther populations in the world and among the animals living there are elephants, crocodiles, wild boar, wild buffaloes and grey monkeys. Apart from them, mal koha, Ceylon Jungle fowl and Indian peacock too are found in large numbers in this sanctuary. Vultures, white-necked tern, black-necked stork (ali manava) and painted stork (lathu vekiya) too can be observed there.

Six out of the 215 bird species living in this sanctuary are endemic to Sri Lanka and a half of the 90 species of water birds are migratory birds. There are 46 species of reptiles there and out of them 5 are endemic to Sri Lanka. There are 44 species of mammals to be found in this sanctuary.

Eighteen (18) species of amphibians have been reported from this sanctuary and five (05) species of endangered sea turtles can be seen close to the sea beach.

Rs. 5.00 – Hawks-bill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate)

Growing to about 3 feet in length, this member is one of eight species of sea turtles recognized in the world, and one of the five that inhabit the coastal waters of Sri Lanka. All turtles are considered globally threatened and live by feeding on sea weeds, grasses, jellyfish, corals etc. They come ashore to lay eggs in a nest dug in the sand with their flippers. A total of 20-40 or more nicely round white eggs are laid in the dugout cavity at night when they beach for nesting. The eggs are covered with sand using the flippers and pressed with body thumping. The nestlings hatch out in approximately 23-26 days and head out straight to sea. The yolk sac in the belly is supposed to provide the initial energy for the hatchlings to swim as far as possible to the reef areas. They do not come back to land until mature and ready to breed, the age of which has not yet been established. The nesting beach is believed to be the same area from where it left as a hatchling. The use of its carapace scales for ornamental accessories by humans is the biggest threat to its survival.

Rs. 15.00 – Swamp Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris)

Crocodiles are members of the reptilian group, and are considered to be in the direct line of evolution to birds. They possess a heart with a left aortic blood vessel like the birds and different from the other reptiles. Sri Lanka is blessed with two species – the marsh or swamp crocodile and the larger and more aggressive estuarine crocodile – Crocodylus porosus inhabiting generally the salt waters. The swamp crocodile grows to about 10-12 feet, with webbed fingers, dorsal nares and a nasal track separated from the mouth by a palate. They are efficient swimmers paddling with the dorso-ventrally flattened tail. Crocodiles build nests in dug-up cavities in the embankments of rivers etc. in which they lay eggs that are hatched by the addition of decaying vegetation. Crocodiles are very protective of their young and are most aggressive during the period when the young hatchlings are around. They are carnivorous and feed of dead carcasses or captured animals.

Rs. 25.00 – Elephant (Elephas maximus)

The largest animal on the Asian continent, the elephant is related to the African elephant in being in the same Family Proboscidea. The main feature of recognition is the presence of the prehensile nose or proboscis. An average animal can grow up to about 7-9 feet at the shoulder. They are herbivorous and need around 1/3 their body weight in foliage per day. The Sri Lankan elephant feeds 70% on grasses and balance on vegetation plants of around 10cm in diameter at breast height. Thus it has been recognized as an “edge species” loitering and feeding in high densities in forest with heavy scrub, open grasslands and water. The cause for damage to property, crops and consequently even to human life is believed mainly due to this preference of food and a unique feature in its feeding biology. The grinding capacity of the molar teeth that replaces over the years fails to be effective and efficient in old age and a preference for softer lush “agricultural” food draws them to human habitation. The continued encroachments of their territory by humans have compounded the conflict further. The elephant tamed by us has become part of our culture and religious practices. Among the Asian elephant it is only the male that bears the magnificent tusks, a sad cause for its state of threatened status.

Rs. 30.00 – Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiatucus)

The tallest bird of Sri Lanka with a height over 5 ft. It inhabits coastal wetlands such as marshes, lagoons, estuaries and large water bodies. A bird that had a distribution in the North West and East of Sri Lanka is presently, sighted often in the wetlands of the Yala National Park Complex. There has been numerous sightings of birds caring sticks for nesting and juvenile birds, yet no documented nest has yet been seen in the country in the last 50 years or more. It is known to nest in tall trees away from the coastline in forests.

Rs. 40.00 – The Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)

An interesting member of the hoofed family – Artiodactyla, they live in small sires, numbering around 4-5 animals. Moving through the soft earth, like a plough they dig up for yams and grub worms etc. The area left behind after a successful feeding bout is a completely upturned soil. They like to wallow in mud. The babies are lined with black horizontal marks and number up to even 10 in a pack. The male has a fairly large pair of tushes and the females too sometimes have smaller pairs. The adult animals are very protective of their babies and will not hesitate to take on even a leopard if it happens to stalk the babies.

Rs. 50.00 – The Spotted Deer (Axis axis)

The most common mammal is in the dry and semiarid forest in the country. Generally they are observed in herds of half a dozen to a hundred or more, of both sexes and all ages.

Spotted deer spends much of its time grazing upon various grasses and herbs in open areas in the forests. They browse on the leaves of bushes, saplings and scrub vegetation also. They are also very fond of the fruits and flowers that fall from the forest trees.

The main predators of this beautiful animal are leopard and crocodile Their vision and hearing are exceedingly acute and their sense of smell is very well developed. These adaptations help them to escape from predators.

Philatelic Details

Date of issue2013.07.28
DesignerRs.5.00, Rs.15.00, Rs.30.00 – Kelum A. Gunasekara
Rs.25.00, Rs.40.00, Rs.50.00 – D. G. Sudath Jayawardhana
Stamp size41mm × 30mm
30mm × 41mm
Printing processOffset Lithography
Sheet Composition16 stamps per sheet
Perforations13 3/4 × 14
14 × 13 3/4
PrinterDepartment of Government Printing, Sri Lanka
Colours used4 Process Colours
Paper102 gsm security printing paper
Quantity printedRs. 5.00 – 1,000,000
Rs. 15.00 – 1,000,000
Rs. 25.00 – 500,000
Rs. 30.00 – 500,000
Rs. 40.00 – 1,000,000
Rs. 50.00 – 1,000,000
Souvenir Sheet
DenominationRs. 55.00, Rs. 200.00
Quantity PrintedRs. 55.00 – 20,000 (20,000 per each three types)
Rs. 200.00 – 10,000 (10,000 per each three types with Mascot and Logo of “Thailand 2013” Exhibition)

Catalogue Codes

Rs.5 stamp (Hawks-bill Turtle)Michel LK 1956
Stamp Number LK 1896
Yvert et Tellier LK 1905
Stanley Gibbons LK 2218
WADP Numbering System – WNS LK016.13
Rs.15 stamp (Swamp Crocodile)Michel LK 1957
Stamp Number LK 1897
Yvert et Tellier LK 1906
Stanley Gibbons LK 2219
WADP Numbering System – WNS LK015.13
Rs.25 stamp (Elephant)Michel LK 1958
Stamp Number LK 1898
Yvert et Tellier LK 1907
Stanley Gibbons LK 2220
WADP Numbering System – WNS LK019.13
Rs.30 stamp (Black-necked Stork)Michel LK 1959
Stamp Number LK 1899
Yvert et Tellier LK 1908
Stanley Gibbons LK 2221
WADP Numbering System – WNS LK018.13
Rs.40 stamp (Wild Boar)Michel LK 1960
Stamp Number LK 1900
Yvert et Tellier LK 1909
Stanley Gibbons LK 2222
WADP Numbering System – WNS LK014.13
Rs.50 stamp (Spotted Deer)Michel LK 1961
Stamp Number LK 1901
Yvert et Tellier LK 1910
Stanley Gibbons LK 2223
WADP Numbering System – WNS LK017.13
Rs.55 MS (Leopard)Michel LK BL139
Stamp Number LK 1901a
Yvert et Tellier LK BF125
Stanley Gibbons LK MS2224
WADP Numbering System – WNS LK017MS.13
Rs.55 MS (Sloth Bear)Michel LK BL140
Stamp Number LK 1900a
Yvert et Tellier LK BF127
Stanley Gibbons LK MS2225
WADP Numbering System – WNS LK015MS.13
Rs.55 MS (Elephant)Michel LK BL141
Stamp Number LK 1899a
Yvert et Tellier LK BF126
Stanley Gibbons LK MS2226
WADP Numbering System – WNS LK019MS.13
Rs.200 MS LOGO (Leopard)Michel LK BL139I
Stamp Number LK 1901b
Yvert et Tellier LK BF128
Rs.200 MS LOGO (Sloth Bear)Michel LK BL140I
Stamp Number LK 1900b
Yvert et Tellier LK BF130
Rs.200 MS LOGO (Elephant)Michel LK BL141I
Stamp Number LK 1899b
Yvert et Tellier LK BF129


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