Portman, Carper, Katko, Costa Bicameral, Bipartisan Bill to Ensure Remaining Stamps to Promote Wildlife Conservation Are Sold Signed Into Law

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Tom Carper (D-DE), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and U.S. Representatives John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Jim Costa (D-CA), Member of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans & Wildlife, announced that their bicameral, bipartisan Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act, which requires the U.S. Postal Service to sell the approximately 41 million remaining Saving Vanishing Species Stamps left in stock, has been signed into law. When the program began in 2011, the U.S. Postal Service printed 100 million stamps to help promote wildlife conservation. 

“We owe it to our future generations to preserve our planet’s rich wildlife and natural resources so they can continue to be enjoyed,” said Portman. “This successful stamp program has raised millions of dollars to fund conservation without any taxpayer money. I’m proud this bicameral, bipartisan legislation has been signed into law so that we can ensure that every last stamp is sold.”

“With President Biden signing the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Stamp Reauthorization Act into law, Americans can continue to protect the at-risk species we love by purchasing postal stamps,” said Carper. “Supporting this program right now is critical as our world’s most threatened wildlife face threats like habitat loss, poaching, and climate change. My thanks go out to Senator Portman and all supporters of this legislation for their hard work in getting this bipartisan effort across the finish line.” 

“I am pleased the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act has been signed into law, “ said Katko.Buying semipostal stamps is one of the most accessible ways for people to donate to causes they care about. Previously, the ‘tiger stamp’ had been carried by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to support wildlife conservation, and raised nearly $6 million for the effort to fund nearly 100 projects in 35 countries. However, despite having nearly 50 million stamps still in stock, these stamps have not been available for purchase for several years. This law will ensure the remaining semipostal stamps will be sold and benefit efforts to save vulnerable species worldwide.” 

“This is a significant win to preserve wildlife conservation efforts worldwide,” said Costa. “I am proud that President Biden signed my bipartisan bill into law, which will generate millions in funding to sustain wildlife conservation without expense to U.S. taxpayers. Purchasing this stamp is an inexpensive and voluntary way to safeguard some of the most vulnerable species around the globe for generations to come.”

“The Save Vanishing Species Semipostal stamp – or Tiger Stamp – gives every American the opportunity to easily and effectively contribute to programs that protect imperiled species including tigers, rhinos, great apes, turtles, tortoises, and elephants. To date, these stamps have raised over $6.5 million for critical conservation programs around the globe,” said Danielle Kessler, US Country Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “Thanks to the leadership of Senators Portman and Carper and Representatives Costa and Katko, these popular stamps will now remain available to postal customers, and continue to provide support for endangered animals around the world. A win for these beloved species and for postal customers.”

“On the eve of Endangered Species Day, Congress and President Biden have given us a reason to celebrate now that the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semi-Postal Stamp Reauthorization Act has been signed into law. The bipartisan bill ensures that the “Tiger Stamp” will remain on U.S. Post Office shelves until the last stamp is sold,” said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president, wildlife conservation, World Wildlife Fund. “It seems fitting that, with 2022 the “Year of the Tiger”, this beautiful stamp has been given new life and will continue to help fund U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service efforts to restore populations of these big cats and other magnificent species in their wild habitats. We commend the champions in Congress and the Administration who have made this program a lasting success and a legacy of U.S. leadership on global wildlife conservation.”  

“The Save Vanishing Species stamp makes the act of conserving wildlife as easy as mailing a letter,” said John Calvelli, Wildlife Conservation Society Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. “This continues to be a win-win as we can increase the financial support for conserving some of our most iconic, endangered species and engage everyday Americans in the cause. Thanks to Reps. Jim Costa and John Katko, Sens. Rob Portman and Tom Carper, and all the members of Congress that worked to keep this important conservation tool on sale.” 

“The Tiger Stamp has generated $5.7 million to conserve some of the world’s most iconic wild animals, and now Americans can continue to increase that sum each time they visit the post office,” said Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund. “We are thrilled this legislation is now law. We thank Congress for passing it and President Biden for signing it, with special gratitude to Senators Portman and Carper and Representatives Costa and Katko for shepherding it through.” 

“Once again, Senators Portman and Carper and Representatives Katko and Costa have shown their willingness to work together to protect wildlife and wild places,” said the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “In this case, quite literally, showing our nation’s continued commitment to stamping out extinction. Now everyone can play a role in conserving African and Asian elephants, great apes, rhinos, tigers, marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises simply by purchasing some stamps. Everyone should celebrate this achievement by purchasing Save Vanishing Species Stamps.”

NOTE: On September 20, 2011, the U.S. Postal Service issued the Saving Vanishing Species Stamp, depicting an endangered Amur tiger cub, priced above the normal price of a first-class stamp. The difference in price from this first-class stamp is transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support the five Multinational Species Conservation Funds to protect tigers, rhinoceroses, Asian and African elephants, marine turtles, and great apes. These programs target poaching, illegal wildlife trade, habitat protection, and projects to incorporate species conservation into community development.

Through purchases of 59 million tiger stamps to-date, out of a total of 100 million stamps, Americans have raised more than $6.5 million for conservation projects. This funding has helped support 135 on-the-ground conservation projects in 37 countries. These projects have leveraged more than $25 million in matching funds provided by partners.

Portman and former Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) authored legislation that was signed into law to extend the sale of the stamp through September 2018. The FY2019, 2020, and 2021 government funding bills each included a provision requiring the U.S. Postal Service to continue selling the stamps through the end of the fiscal year. This legislation would require the U.S. Postal Service to sell the approximately 41 million remaining stamps left in stock.