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Bird of the Year. The Little Bustard
22 April 2019

KEP begins a series of annual issues called "Bird of the Year" by issuing a stamp dedicated to the Little Bustard. The issues from this series will be designed in close cooperation with the Kyrgyz Wildlife Conservation Society (KWCS), which every year chooses a species to be designated as “Bird Of The Year” in Kyrgyzstan.

The Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) is a relatively small bird, about the size of a grouse and weighs up to 1kg. The distinctive feature in the appearance of the Little Bustard is that the male, when in breeding plumage, has a black neck with two white stripes.

The Little Bustard has a predominantly terrestrial lifestyle and is an impressively fast runner. This bird doesn’t fly high and when flying, produces a high-pitched whistling.

In Kyrgyzstan, the Little Bustards prefers to settle in extensive steppe or semi-desert areas. The Little Bustard feeds on both animal and vegetable substances but mainly on insects. As a migratory bird, by late autumn, the Little Bustard flies to wintering grounds in southern countries.

The Little Bustard is a very rare bird which needs to be protected. Unfortunately, this species is threatened with extinction. Its population in the wild is heavily influenced by anthropogenic factors like plowing steppes, grazing and poaching. As a specially protected species, the Little Bustard is listed in the Red Book of the Kyrgyz Republic.

BirdLife International, an influential international organization for the protection of birds and the conservation of their habitat, which is also an official partner of the Kyrgyz Wildlife Conservation Society, is making efforts to restore the population of the Little Bustard in Kyrgyzstan and other countries. The logo of this organization is represented on the new KEP stamp. The logo of the Kyrgyz Wildlife Conservation Society (KWCS) can also be seen on the fields margins of the miniature sheet.

Kyrgyz Express Post conveys its great appreciation for the consistent support provided by the Kyrgyz Wildlife Conservation Society. A special thanks goes to Sergey Kulagin for his valuable advice in designing this issue of stamps.

KEP hopes that the new, annual series of stamps, through their visual impact and high-quality printing, will draw a wider public attention to the plight of all the endangered and precious avian species of Kyrgyzstan. The 2019 stamp will be issued on May 9.

You can check the newsletter for the new KEP issue here
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