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STAMPS FEATURE ENDANGERED SPECIES

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Worldwide efforts to save endangered species are reflected in a number of stamps that have been issued by countries all over the world.

Among the latest are four setenant (attached) 25-cent stamps from the Republic of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific. They feature two species of endangered sea turtles, the hawkbill and Pacific green turtles.The adult hawkbill, considered one of the most beautiful sea turtles, is dark brown with yellow scales. Fully grown, it reaches 34 inches in length and weighs over 300 pounds. The hawkbill may hatch as many as 100 eggs in its nest, but, due to predators, only a few survive.

The Pacific green turtle is actually brown; its name comes from the greenish color of its fat. The largest of all sea turtles, it weighs over 400 pounds and may reach over 4 feet in length. Its numbers are decreasing because of its edible flesh and its vulnerability to egg collectors.Hungary publicizes the plight of endangered species with a set of six stamps depicting "Protected Useful Birds" found there.

There are three 3-florint stamps: One illustrates the Balkanian woodpecker, which lives in gardens and orchards of Hungary; one shows a male and female bullfinch; and one features the Eurasian kingfisher.

There are two 5-florint stamps: One portrays the hoopoe, which is named for its distinctive cry and is easily recognized by the colorful crest; and one features a male and female European bee-eater, found in the Carpathian Basin.

The 10-florint stamp shows the common roller, which was once one of the most numerous birds in Europe but is now seen only in a few areas. Common rollers are so beautifully colored that they resemble tropical birds.

Each of the stamps carries the bird's name in Hungarian and Latin, the denomination, the year and the name of the designer, Hungarian artist Pal Varga.Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has a unique hobby - she designs stamps.

In 1985, she designed a stamp to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the liberation of Denmark. It depicts a blackout blind rolling up for the last time while the pitch darkness of the occupation years is being dispersed by flickering candles.

She also designed a sheet of 50 Christmas stamps with the theme "Christmas Preparation in the Heavenly Palace" and a 1983 Christmas set of 30 stamps called "Light."

Earlier this year, Denmark issued a definitive stamp honoring the queen's 50th birthday and featuring her portrait.The East Caribbean island of Grenada has released a stamp and two souvenir sheets to honor the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Airborne Forces.

According to the director general of the Grenada Post Office, this historic release was issued in gratitude to the U.S. Airborne, which landed in Grenada in 1983 as part of a U.S. invasion that helped depose the Marxist government that had come into power four years earlier.

The 75-cent stamp depicts two Lockheed C-130 aircraft preparing to drop troops into Grenada. The $2.50 souvenir sheet shows a symbolic representation of a half-century of dedicated service to the United States by the members of various Airborne groups. The $6 sheet illustrates the 50-year span of the U.S. Airborne soldier, highlighting a member in uniforms of the 1940s and today.

The release of these issues coincides with the commemoration of the 50th Airborne celebration held in Washington, D.C., in which veterans of numerous Airborne organizations participated.Readers have asked how they can donate stamps and philatelic materials to worthy, non-profit groups.

I suggest you contact local schools, religious organizations, veterans' groups, hospitals or youth groups, any of which might be able to use the stamps to start or continue a hobby group. Or, you may want to send stamps to Stamps for the Wounded, 924-E, 4201 Cathedral Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20016.