This booklet of ten 110 XPF self-adhesive stamps, designed by Jean-Jacques Mahuteau and based on photographs taken by botanist Bernard Suprin, pays tribute to New Caledonia’s endemic plant species.
New Caledonia is recognised as one of the world’s leading biodiversity hotspots, with up to 80% of plant species endemic to the country. But New Caledonia’s heritage of unique and ancient flora is highly vulnerable and under threat.
Several hundred species are found only in a limited number of areas (sometimes a single area) and are exposed to three major threats: wildfires, deer and mining, all of which play a role in hastening the rapid decline and even extinction of many taxa.
On the ground, the Red List group recently set up by the Endemia Association is committed to conducting an inventory of so-called “micro-endemic” species, assessing their vulnerability to extinction. Based on findings to date, it appears that dozens of species have not been recorded for a very long period of time (sometimes a century) and hundreds more are critically endangered.
This stamp booklet illustrates a few of these precious endemic flowering plants, the shyest of celebrities hiding far from the beaten track. They flower at arbitrary and irregular intervals, so if you want to see them in their natural habitat, you’ll need courage and perseverance.