Cook Islands Philatelic Bureau (Philatelic Collector Inc.)

Aitutaki (Cook Islands)

xx March 2020

Turtles of the World (Part 2)

Aitutaki: Turtles of the World (Part 2), March 2020. Images from personal collection and Philatelic Collector Inc..

Technical Specifications:

Issued On: xx March 2020
Printing Method: Offset lithography
Perforations: 14 (white margins); 13½x13 (no margins)
Denominations & Designs:
$10.00 – Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)
$20.00 – Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)
$30.00 – Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)
$34.70 – Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)
Formats: Large sheets (white margins along all four sides); Miniature sheet of 8 (no margins); Miniature sheet of 4 (white margins along two sides)

The Cook Islands Philatelic Bureau is a client of Philatelic Collector Inc., producing “the government standard postage stamps for all of the Cook Islands. We offer newly designed postage stamps, stamp issues and collectible postage stamps, featuring images of the Cook Islands including; the islands of Aitutaki and Penrhyn, the British Royal Family, local flora and fauna, wild life, holiday themes and most recently, a celebration of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides.”

The Bureau sells the stamps of Aitutaki, Cook Islands, Penrhyn, and Rarotonga through the Philatelic Collector Inc. website (https://shop.pcistamps.com/Cook-Islands-Philatelic-Bureau_c2.htm) and can be contacted by email (Info@pcistamps.com or Lazar@philateliccollector.com) and by regular mail at P.O. Box 3162, Sag Harbor, NY 11963 U.S.A.

The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), is a species of oceanic turtle distributed throughout the world. It is a marine reptile, belonging to the family Cheloniidae. The average loggerhead measures around 90 cm (35 in) in carapace length when fully grown. The adult loggerhead sea turtle weighs approximately 135 kg (298 lb), with the largest specimens weighing in at more than 450 kg (1,000 lb). The skin ranges from yellow to brown in color, and the shell is typically reddish brown. No external differences in sex are seen until the turtle becomes an adult, the most obvious difference being the adult males have thicker tails and shorter plastrons (lower shells) than the females.

The loggerhead sea turtle is found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. It spends most of its life in saltwater and estuarine habitats, with females briefly coming ashore to lay eggs. The loggerhead sea turtle has a low reproductive rate; females lay an average of four egg clutches and then become quiescent, producing no eggs for two to three years. The loggerhead reaches sexual maturity within 17–33 years and has a lifespan of 47–67 years.

The loggerhead sea turtle is omnivorous, feeding mainly on bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Its large and powerful jaws serve as an effective tool for dismantling its prey. Young loggerheads are exploited by numerous predators; the eggs are especially vulnerable to terrestrial organisms. Once the turtles reach adulthood, their formidable size limits predation to large marine animals, such as sharks.

The loggerhead sea turtle is considered a vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. In total, 9 distinct population segments are under the protection of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, with 4 population segments classified as “threatened” and 5 classified as “endangered” Commercial trade of loggerheads or derived products is prohibited by CITES Appendix I.

Untended fishing gear is responsible for many loggerhead deaths. The greatest threat is loss of nesting habitat due to coastal development, predation of nests, and human disturbances (such as coastal lighting and housing developments) that cause disorientations during the emergence of hatchlings. Turtles may also suffocate if they are trapped in fishing trawls. Turtle excluder devices have been implemented in efforts to reduce mortality by providing an escape route for the turtles. Loss of suitable nesting beaches and the introduction of exotic predators have also taken a toll on loggerhead populations. Efforts to restore their numbers will require international cooperation, since the turtles roam vast areas of ocean and critical nesting beaches are scattered across several countries.

Miniature Sheet of 8:

Miniature Sheet of 4:

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