New postage stamps celebrate wildlife on the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man Post Office is releasing a collection of 10 stamps showcasing the diverse wildlife of the area.

Laura McCoy and Brian Liggins

The stamp collection issued by the Isle of Man Post Office includes a selection of mammals, birds, reptiles and insects, all photographed by Manx photographer Brian Liggins.

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Liggins took up photography 11 years ago, and first fell in love with wildlife surrounded by the menagerie on his grandparents’ farm during his childhood.

“I enjoy the challenge of taking pictures of wildlife, as it is always on the move, so you have to be ready and focused to capture the moment,” he says. “I spend hours waiting and trying to get the right shot. I travel all over the Island to picture different species. The light plays a big part in capturing the perfect image.”

The full set of stamps.
The full set of stamps.

The stamps don’t just include native species, but also feature naturalised species, such as the wallaby. A few wallabies escaped from a wildlife park in the 1960s and their subsequent naturalisation has secured them an iconic status in the Isle of Man. 

“Islands can be hugely important in terms of supporting rare species, and serve as refuges, but their sensitivity to environmental impacts increases the smaller they are,” remarks Laura McCoy, natural history curator at Manx National Heritage.

McCoy states that though the island is influenced by its nearest neighbours, the composition of the Isle ofMan’s wildlife is unique.

“The continued presence of rarities like hen harriers, lesser-mottled grasshoppers and the greater butterfly orchid is by no means guaranteed, and government agencies and wildlife groups manage and monitor the Manx countryside to support them,’ she adds.

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The stamp collection does not include any marine species, though the Isle of Man is also well known for seals and over 10 per cent of the island’s territorial waters are marine nature reserves.