Wood Bison, Bison bison athabascae
Date of Issue
April 6, 1981
Series Time Span
1977 - 1981
Perforation or Dimension
13 x 13.5
Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.
Designed by Robert McLellan Bateman.
The wood bison is a slightly larger, darker, and woollier northern subspecies of the plains bison or buffalo. Hunting and several severe winters reduced the wood bison population. By 1922 no more than 2,000 remained, centred on what is now Wood Buffalo National Park. Interbreeding nearly wiped out the subspecies when the federal government introduced plains bison to the area. However, in 1957 the Canadian Wildlife Service discovered a purebred herd of 200 wood bison and moved some of them to the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary, Northwest Territories, in 1963 and others to Elk Island National Park, Alberta, in 1965. It is estimated that nearly 800 wood bison now exist, and the Wildlife Service is attempting to start herds in other locations. Robert Bateman, internationally known wildlife painter, has shown the wood bison in a wintery setting among the trees that distinguish its habitat from that of its relative, the plains bison. These two stamps mark the end of Canada Post's series of eight stamps on Endangered Wildlife. The other six stamps featured the eastern cougar (1977); the peregrine falcon (1978); the soft-shelled turtle and the bowhead whale (1979); and the prairie chicken and the Atlantic whitefish (1980).
Canada. Post Office Department. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1981.
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