Oct 11, 2009

Estonian Fauna-Brown Bear FDC from ESTONIA

FDC name:Estonian Fauna-Brown Bear.
Issue date:10th SEP'2009
Details:The brown bear(Ursus arctos) has lived in Estonia since very old times,the late Ice Age.As a result people came into contact with it as soon as they settled in the area and the animal has acquired an important cultural role in the Estonian folk tradition.

The range of brown bear covers the whole Eurasian continent from forest-tundra to the Mediterranean and Himalayas in south and in North America from the northern point of the continent to Mexico.But because of intensive human activity it has been crowded out from much of its former range and lives only in patches.

The brown bear is omnivore who also feeds on vegetable matter,such as roots,berries and mushrooms,which often its main diet.But it can easily kill a deer or other prey.

Brown bears have furry coats in shades of blond, brown, black, or a combination of those colors. The longer outer guard hairs are often tipped with white or silver, giving a "grizzled" appearance. Their tail is 4–5 inches (10–13 cm) long.Like all bears, brown bears are plantigrades and can stand up on their hind legs for extended periods of time. Brown bears have a large hump of muscle over their shoulders which distinguishes them from other species.Brown bears are very powerful, and can break the backs and necks of large prey. The forearms end in massive paws with claws up to 15 cm (5.9 in) in length which are mainly used for digging. The claws are not retractable, and have relatively blunt points. Their heads are large and round with a concave

facial profile, a characteristic used to distinguish them from other bears. Males are 38–50% larger than females.

The normal range of physical dimensions for a brown bear is a head-and-body length of 1.7 to 2.8 meters (5.6 to 9.2 ft) and a shoulder height of 90 to 150 centimeters (35–60 in). The smallest subspecies is the Eurasian Brown Bear whose mature females weigh as little as 90 kg (200 lb).Barely larger, Grizzly Bears from the Yukon region (which are a third smaller than most grizzlies) can weigh as little as 100 kg (220 lb) in the spring and the Syrian Brown Bear, with mature females weighing as little as 150 kg (330 lb). The largest subspecies are the Kodiak Bear and the Kamchatka Brown Bear. It is not unusual for large male Kodiak Bears to stand over 3 m (9.8 ft) while on their hind legs, and to weigh up to 680 kg (1,500 lb).The largest wild Kodiak Bear on record weighed over 1,100 kilograms (2,400 lb).Bears raised in zoos are often heavier than wild bears because of regular feeding and limited movement. In zoos, bears may weigh up to 900 kilograms (2,000 lb), one example being "Goliath" from New Jersey's Space Farms Zoo and Museum. Another example is Kodiak brown bear "Barbucha" at the zoo in Duisburg, who weighs 1000 kilograms (2200 lb).Size seems related to food availability, and subspecies distinctions is more related to nutrition than geographical location.

Despite their size, some brown bears have been clocked at speeds in excess of 64 km/h (40 mph).

One of the subspecies of the brown bear, the Kodiak Bear, which is native to Kodiak Island, matches the polar bear as the largest member of the bear family,and as the largest land predator.The hides and skulls of the two species are comparable in size, thus making morphological comparisons difficult as it is often difficult to weigh wild specimens.

There are about 200,000 brown bears in the world. The largest populations are in Russia with 120,000, the United States with 32,500, and Canada with 21,750. 95% of the brown bear population in the United States is in Alaska, though in the lower 48 they are repopulating slowly but steadily along the Rockies and plains. Although many people hold on to the belief that some brown bears may be present in Mexico and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, both are almost certainly extinct. The last Mexican brown bear was shot in 1960. In Europe, there are 14,000 brown bears in ten fragmented populations, from Spain in the west, to Russia in the east, and from Scandinavia in the north to Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia (with about 800–900 animals), and Greece (with about 200 animals) in the south. They are extinct in the British Isles, extremely threatened in France and Spain, and in trouble over most of Central Europe. The Carpathian brown bear population is the largest in Europe outside Russia, estimated at 4,500 to 5,000 bears. Scandinavia is home to a large bear population, with an estimated 2,500 (range 2,350–2,900) in Sweden, 840 in Finland, and 70 in Norway. Another large and relatively stable population of brown bears in Europe, consisting of 2,500–3,000 individuals, is the Dinaric-Pindos (Balkans) population, with contiguous distribution in North-East Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, and Greece.

Brown bears were once native to Asia, the Atlas Mountains in Africa, Europe, and North America, but are now extinct in some areas and their populations have greatly decreased in other areas. They prefer semi-open country, usually in mountainous
Technical Details of Stamps:
  • Denomination- 5.50(Kr)
  • Print - offset
  • Design by-Sandor Stern
  • Peroration- 12 3/4:13
  • Quantity issued- 40000
  • Printing House- AS Vaba Maa
  • Michel catalog number: 643
  • Paper: chalky
Remark:Beautiful FDC and the stamps sent by my friend Pirjo on the issue date form Estonia.Many many thanks for such good FDC,The bear cancellation was also great.
As per India post rule they should have stamped the delivery seal on the back side of the letter but this one they have done it on the front side.India post is going bad to worst day by day,

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