Sustainability Environment

New stamps honor endangered species in all 50 states

The new collection is being released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act
Forever stamps featuring endangered species set to be released in 2023. (Photo courtesy of USPS)

Story at a glance

  • The United States Postal Service is releasing a collection of 20 stamps next year featuring endangered species.

  • The stamps are being released on a yet-to-be-announced date in 2023 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Endangered Species Act.

  • The legislation is responsible for protecting more than 1,300 threatened species in the U.S.

Correction: An earlier version of this report misidentified the photographer whose images were used to create the stamps.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced Monday it will release almost two dozen stamps decorated with endangered species that call the U.S. or one of its territories home.

The new postage pane will be released sometime next year—the USPS has yet to release an exact date—to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Endangered Species Act, the landmark piece of legislation that established protections for threatened animal and plant life.  

Under the Endangered Species Act, more than 1,300 at-risk plant and animal species are protected in order to increase their chances of survival.  

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The USPS used animal images from photographer Joel Sartore’s “Photo Ark” to create the stamps. USPS art director Derry Noyes designed the stamps using Sartore’s photographs, the agency said in a statement.  

Sartore’s project “Photo Ark” features photos of more than 13,400 animal species. The photographer started the massive collection in 2005 to “get people to care” that half of the world’s animal species could be lost by the next century, according to the artists’ website.   

Animal and plant species are increasingly threatened in part due to habitat loss and climate change stemming from humans. A 2019 United Nations report found that for the first time in human history 1 million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction with many facing that reality over the next decade.  

The “endangered species” stamps are first-class Forever stamps, now worth 60 cents each after the USPS hiked the price of the postage by 3.4 cents in July.  The price of Forever Stamps are set to go up even more, to 63 cents, in early 2023.

The pane will be released along with more than 20 additional stamp styles next year.  

“The 2023 stamp program features a broad range of subjects and designs. These miniature works of art highlight our unique American culture and offer a broad selection for those looking to collect stamps or send their mail around the nation or the world,” said USPS Stamp Services Director William Gicker in a statement.  

–Updated on Nov. 17 at 9:47 a.m.