Issue Date: 7 May 2021
Designer: Nataša Odak, Zagreb
Sheet Composition: 20 stamps
Stamp Size: 35,50 x 29,82 mm
Printing Method: Offset Lithography
Perforation: Comb 14
Paper: white 102 g, gummed
Printer: AKD d.o.o., Zagreb
Quantity: 100,000 per motif
EUROPA – ENDANGERED ANIMAL SPECIES, WESTERN CAPERCAILLIE
Due to its declining population, the capercaillie is strictly protected in Croatia and is considered an endangered species. Only a dozen out of the former 177 leks in our country are active, and there are just over a hundred.
EUROPA – ENDANGERED ANIMAL SPECIES, EURASIAN LYNX
According to the latest official estimate from 2010, there are 40 to 60 individuals living in Croatia, with a declining trend, so in our country the lynx is a highly endangered and strictly protected species. The major causes of endangerment are inbreeding, habitat destruction and fragmentation and poaching.
The western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), also known as the Eurasian capercaillie, wood grouse, heather cock, or simply capercaillie, is a heavy member of the grouse family and the largest of all extant grouse species. The heaviest-known specimen, recorded in captivity, had a weight of 7.2 kilograms (16 pounds). Found across Europe and the Palearctic, this primarily-ground-dwelling forest grouse is renowned for its courtship display. This bird shows extreme sexual dimorphism, with males nearly twice the size of females. The global population is listed as “least concern” under the IUCN, although the populations of Central Europe are declining and fragmented, or possibly extirpated.
Male and female western capercaillie can easily be differentiated by their size and coloration. The cock is much bigger than the hen. It is one of the most sexually dimorphic in size of living bird species, only exceeded by the larger types of bustards and a select few members of the pheasant family.
Cocks typically range from 74 to 85 centimetres (29 to 33 inches) in length with wingspan of 90 to 125 cm (35 to 49 in) and an average weight of 4.1 kg (9 lb 1 oz). The largest wild cocks can attain a length of 100 cm (40 in) and weight of 6.7 kg (14 lb 12 oz). The largest specimen recorded in captivity had a weight of 7.2 kg (15 lb 14 oz). The weight of 75 wild cocks was found to range from 3.6 to 5.05 kg (7 lb 15 oz to 11 lb 2 oz). The body feathers are dark grey to dark brown, while the breast feathers are dark metallic green. The belly and undertail coverts vary from black to white depending on race.
The hen is much smaller, weighing about half as much as the cock. The capercaillie hen’s body from beak to tail is approximately 54–64 cm (21–25 in) long, the wingspan is 70 cm (28 in) and weighs 1.5–2.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz–5 lb 8 oz), with an average of 1.8 kg (3 lb 15 oz). Feathers on the upper parts are brown with black and silver barring; on the underside they are more light and buffish yellow.
Both sexes have a white spot on the wing bow. They have feathered legs, especially in the cold season, for protection against cold. Their toe rows of small, elongated horn tacks provide a snowshoe effect that led to the German family name “Rauhfußhühner”, literally translated as “rough feet chickens”.
These so-called “courting tacks” make a clear track in the snow. The sexes can be distinguished very easily by the size of their footprints.
There is a bright red spot of naked skin above each eye. In German hunters’ language, these are the so-called “roses”.
The small chicks resemble the hen in their cryptic coloration, which is a passive protection against predators. Additionally, they wear black crown feathers. At an age of about three months, in late summer, they moult gradually towards the adult plumage of cocks and hens. The eggs are about the same size and form as chicken eggs, but are more speckled with brown spots.
The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is a medium-sized wild cat widely spread throughout Eurasia, in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe to Central Asia and Siberia, the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas. It inhabits temperate and boreal forests up to an elevation of 5,500 m (18,000 ft). Despite its wide distribution, it is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching and depletion of prey. Conservation efforts have been made through the extensive illegalization of lynx hunting across the territories where the species is observed.
The Eurasian lynx has a relatively short, reddish or brown coat, which tends to be more brightly coloured in animals living at the southern end of its range. In winter, however, this is replaced by a much thicker coat of silky fur that varies from silver-grey to greyish brown. The underparts of the animal, including the neck and chin, are white at all times of the year. The fur is almost always marked with black spots, although the number and pattern of these are highly variable. Some animals do also possess dark brown stripes on the forehead and back. Although spots tend to be more numerous in animals from southern populations, Eurasian lynx with heavily spotted fur may exist close to others with plain fur.
It has powerful, relatively long legs, with large webbed and furred paws that act like snowshoes. It does also possess a short “bobbed” tail with an all-black tip, black tufts of hair on its ears, and a long grey-and-white ruff. It is the largest of the four lynx species, ranging in length from 80 to 130 cm (31 to 51 in) and standing 60–75 cm (24–30 in) at the shoulder. The tail measures 11 to 24.5 cm (4.3 to 9.6 in) in length. On average, males weigh 21.6 kg (48 lb) and females weigh 18.1 kg (40 lb). Male lynxes from Siberia, where the species reaches the largest body size, can weigh up to 38 kg (84 lb) or reportedly even 45 kg (99 lb). The race from the Carpathian Mountains can also grow quite large and rival those from Siberia in body mass in some cases.