Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Białowieża Forest (1979, 1992)
Belarus

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Situated on the watershed of the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, this immense forest range, consisting of evergreens and broad-leaved trees, is home to some remarkable animal life, including rare mammals such as the wolf, the lynx and the otter, as well as some 300 European Bison, a species which has been reintroduced into the park. 

This site is a transboundary property with Poland

  • Belarus 1995. Endangered animals. Wisent [Bison Bonasus]. Note that the stamp is inscribed 1995, but listed only in 1996 (Michel #118). The stamp is shown in large size, but has the same size as the stamps in the set below, to which it belongs. 

Belarus 1995. Endangered Animals. Wisent [Bison Bonasus].

Belarus 1996. Endangered animals. Lynx [Lynx Lynx]. Belarus 1996. Endangered animals. Deer [Capreolus Capreolus]. Belarus 1996. Endangered animals. Moose [Alces Alces]. Belarus 1996. Endangered animals. Brown Bear (Ursus Arctos].

The Belovezhskaya Pushcha (Puszcza Bialowieska) Reserve in the southwest is part of the oldest existing European forest and the sanctuary of the virtually extinct European bison, or wisent. Belarus has more than 70 mammal species, including deer, fox, wild pig, wolves, and the common squirrel. There are 280 bird species, including doves, kestrels, wrens, bullfinches, and woodpeckers. Forests contain grass snakes and vipers, while rivers are the habitat of fur-bearing animals such as mink and otter. 

Belarus 2005. Souvenir sheet containing four stamps of Belarusian fauna..

Belarus was formerly a republic of the Soviet Union. In 1969 the Soviet Union issued a very attractive set of wildlife in the environmentally protected area of Belovezhskaya Forest. 

USSR 1969. Wildlife in Belovezhskaya Forest, Belarus. Black stork feeding young. Stamp #1 of five. USSR 1969. Wildlife in Belovezhskaya Forest, Belarus. Doe (Red Deer) and fawn. Stamp #2 of five. USSR 1969. Wildlife in Belovezhskaya Forest, Belarus. Lynx with cubs. Stamp #4 of five.
USSR 1969. Wildlife in Belovezhskaya Forest, Belarus. Fighting Bison. Stamp #3 of five. USSR 1969. Wildlife in Belovezhskaya Forest, Belarus. Boar (wild pig) with piglets. Stamp #5 of five.
The Belovezhskaya Forest is a transboundary property that stretches into Poland. The UNESCO-office in Paris has issued in 2005 a very nice service-stamp for this area, which is shown temporarily in this page. The stamp shows the head of a the European Bison, which has been re-introduced into the park. 

The bison originated in Eurasia and is one of the few members of its family to have crossed the Bering Strait land bridge in prehistoric times to North America, where two subspecies, the plains bison and the wood bison, survive. The European bison, or wisent, taller but lighter than the American bison, is almost extinct; a few exist in parks and zoos. 

Bison belong to the family Bovidae, and the European Bison is classified as Bison bonasus. 

  • UNESCO (Paris) 2005. European Bison in Belovezhskaya (Bialowieza) Forest, part of which is located in Poland. 

UNESCO (Paris) 2005. European bison in Belovezhskaya (Bialowieza) Forest.

Because of the vicinity of this nature reserve to Southern Lithuania, the European Bison is occasionally found also in Lithuania. The Lithuanian word for Bison is "Stumbras"

Lithuania 1996. European Bison. Souvenir Sheet.

Lithuania 1996. European Bison. Stamp #1.

Lithuania 1996. European Bison. Stamp #3.

Lithuania 1996. European Bison. Stamp #2.

Lithuania 1996. European Bison. Stamp #4.

  • Lithuania 1996. European Bison (Bison Bonasus) in four different face values, and on a corresponding souvenir sheet. 

The European Bison is also known from areas of Romania and Moldova, and has appeared on stamps from Romania. 

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in Belarus (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Belarus for further information about the individual properties.  

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Revised 18 aug 2007  
Copyright 1999 Heindorffhus 
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