Endemic Lizards and Forest Dragons in Limited-Edition Philippine Stamps

July 29, 2011

The Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) in collaboration with the National Museum of the Philippines has just released their Third Quarter Topical Issue on Philippine Endemic Lizards. The limited-edition collection is available starting August, through PhilPost, providing a glimpse of the mega-diverse lizard community that are found only in the Philippines.

Research and photos were provided by the National Museum’s resident herpetologist, Dr. Arvin C. Diesmos of the Zoology Division. Recently conferred the rank of Scientist II, Dr. Diesmos has played an active role in the discovery of new Philippine species of frogs, lizards, and snakes. He was part of the team that discovered Varanus bitatawa or the Northern Sierra Madre Forest Monitor Lizard, one of three frugivorous or fruit-eating species in the entire world. Found only in the Philippines, it is highly endangered and is found in parts of the Sierra Madre Mountain range. This “bayawak”, among several other endemic species, are pictured in the limited-edition stamp. The ominous looking Tropidophorus grayi or the Philippine Spiny Stream Skink is probably the scariest of them all with spikes and spines all over its body. In Tagalog, it is fondly called “bubuli”.

These featured species are but a few of the more than 150 species of lizards known from the Philippines.. The Philippines is considered one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world along with Brazil and Madagascar. Mr. Victorino Z. Cereveo, Head of Design Section of the PhilPost noted, “PhilPost has focused on promoting endemic species for their Topical Stamp Issue. We like to highlight the best that the Philippines has to offer.” The National Museum of the Philippines has continued to fulfill its research and conservation thrust while educating the wider public about Philippine culture and and its rich natural history.

For more information on Philippine Animals, please visit the Zoology Division of the National Museum of the Philippines.Contact Charisse Aquino-Tugade, PR and Marketing, at 527-1215 or email nmphilippines@gmail.com.

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