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Falkland Islands Migratory Species

The globe is criss-crossed with borders and boundaries, designating
countries and states each with its own culture, identity and
regulations. However, these geopolitical borders were created by humans
for humans and animals follow their own geography, wonderfully oblivious
to the way we have divided up their world. Animals often require
different habitats and environmental conditions for mating, breeding and
feeding and so migrate between areas in order to find the resources they
need. Some migration routes are relatively short, perhaps just between
one side of a mountain range to another, but some species will travel
for thousands of miles. A wide range of animal groups make such mammoth
migrations; including birds, mammals, fish, invertebrates and reptiles.
Species which make these epic journeys have adapted to time their
movements in response to external and internal cues. External cues
include a range of environmental signals; including day length, local
climate and availability of food. While internal cues may include body
condition or the bodies internal, circadian, rhythms. Once they are
underway, animals may navigate with the aid of the sun, stars, magnetic
fields, winds, currents and even smell, however, the exact mechanisms
remain unknown in many animals. Whether by instinct or learned group
experience individuals can follow the same routes and return to
ancestral breeding and feeding grounds year on year.

Because of the large distances, the different habitats and the multiple
National borders through which they pass, conserving migratory species
presents a particular challenge. The first difficulty is tracking
species to find out where they actually go. The advent of modern
satellite tracking devices has made this a little easier but even then
attaching a tag to wild animals, sensitive to human disturbance, is not
always straightforward. Even once a migration route is known, countries
along that route need to agree shared conservation goals and enact them
under their local policies and procedures. If a conservation threat
persists at just one step along the way, the species is put in jeopardy
so it is imperative that nations work together.

To help facilitate the conservation of migratory species, a number of
global platforms exist including the Convention on Migratory Species
(CMS), which is an environmental treaty under the umbrella of the United
Nations Environment Programme. First signed in Bonn in 1983, this year
the Convention celebrates its 35th anniversary. Outside of formal
agreements like the CMS, countries work together through a variety of
conservation programmes and non-governmental organisations. Conservation
initiatives that benefit migratory species include promoting sustainable
habitat conservation, policing illegal trade, bycatch prevention and
reducing disturbance from marine noise.

Southern Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes c. chrysocome

The Falkland Islands hold a significant proportion of the world
population of this, the smallest of the Falkland’s penguins.

Historically the population has been in decline since the pre-1930’s
levels, when it was estimated that at least 1 million rockhoppers
populated the islands, but more recently there have been signs of
recovery. Rockhoppers breed at 35 colonies in the Falklands, but the
three major sites are Beauchene, Steeple and Grand Jason islands.

Rockhopper penguins are migratory, arriving in the islands to breed in
early October and leaving by the end of April when they migrate
northwards along the Patagonian Shelf. Some stay relatively close to
their colony all year round, but one tracked penguin travelled 1,324
miles in 75 days.

Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus

The Sooty Shearwater, which migrates thousands of miles each year is a
wonder of long-distance trans-equatorial migration. Leaving the
Falklands by the end of April they fly north to their main staging and
non-breeding areas in the North Atlantic. Migrating southwards they
arrive back in the Falklands by early September to breed. In the
Atlantic this migration is in excess of 8,700 miles.

It is an abundant shearwater breeding mainly on islands off New Zealand,
Australia, Chile and the Falkland Islands where there are some 20,000

This shearwater is identifiable by its dark plumage, which is
responsible for its name. In poor viewing conditions, it looks all
black, but in good light, it shows as dark chocolate-brown with a
silvery strip along the centre of the underwing.

Falkland Islands Migratory Species is one of a complimentary suite of
stamps being issued in 2018 by British Overseas Territories including
Ascension Island, British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia and South
Sandwich Islands and Tristan da Cunha.

Technical Details

Designer Andrew Robinson

Photography Alan Henry

Printer Cartor

Process Stochastic lithography

Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms

Stamp size 42 x 28mm

Sheet layout 20 (2 x 10 Se-tenant pairs)

Release date 18 October, 2018

Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

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