The New Caledonia Office des Postes et Télécommunications is delighted to announce the issue of this unusual souvenir sheet, comprising four 110 XPF stamps designed by Jean-Jacques Mahuteau and showcasing some of New Caledonia’s most important pollinators.
Although rarely featured in worldwide stamp issues, the role played by pollinators is critical in maintaining the harmony and balance of our planet’s ecosystems.
Pollination, key to plant reproduction, is the transfer of pollen from an anther to the stigma in angiosperms (flowering plants) or from the microsporangium to the micropyle in gymnosperms (naked seed-producing plants). Pollination occurs when pollen is moved within flowers or carried from flower to flower by pollinating insects and animals such as birds, bees, bats, butterflies, moths, beetles, or other animals.
In New Caledonia, pollination is ensured by birds, such as the endemic Crow Honeyeater (Gymnomyza aubryana) pictured feeding on nectar from bottlebrush flowers, by butterflies such as the lemon yellow Eurema hecabe novaecaledoniae, shown feeding on hibiscus flowers, by bees, of course, such as the European dark bee Apis mellifera mellifera shown foraging for pollen on Jamaica cherry flowers, and also fruit bats such as the Ornate Flying Fox (Pteropus ornatus), which loves mangrove flowers.
Sadly, sharp declines in pollinator populations around the world, particularly bees and butterflies, have been widely reported over the past several decades. Pollinators suffer from widespread use of the pesticides and petrochemical fertilizers favoured in conventional farming. Pollinator decline has potentially disastrous follow-on consequences for the survival of crop plants and native wildland plants.