Viet Nam Saola Stamp

Saola Stamps



Over the past ten years the jungles of Viet Nam have offered the first newly discovered large mammals in many years. In 1992 Western scientists documented a large foest-dwelling ox in Viet Nam called the Sao La or Saola. In 1995 a robust muntjak deer (Megamuntiacus vuquangensis) was documented in the Vu Quang forest reserve. These animals were well-known to the local villagers but remained unknown to Westerners until the past few years. There is also evidence for another uncataloged goat-like animal, two unknown civids, and another new bovid resembling a kouprey. The latter animal, given the scientific name Pseudonovibos spiralis, may not actually exist. Recent investigations by French scientists of purported horns from this animal suggest they were manually altered from ordinary cattle horns. In other words, the horns are fakes. However, other investigators insist the animal is real and at least some of the horns are genuine.

The Saola or Vu Quang Ox (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) weights about 100 kg. Its bears characteristic long, recurved spindle-shaped horns. The Saola inhabits forests in mountainous areas along the Viernamese/Laotian border. Its range is probably restricted to an area of about 4,000 square km. It is a shy animal that never enters farmlands. Very little is know about it since it is quite rare and it has been known to Western scientists for less than a decade.

The Saola's teeth indicate it probably subsists on a browsing diet. Villagers report the Saola eats leaves from fig trees and other bushes found along riverbanks. The saola is also nocturnal. During the wet summers it lives at higher altitudes since mountain streams offer a plentiful supply of water. When these streams dry up during the winter, the Saola migrates to the lowlands.

The saola apparently travels in small groups, usually just two or three animals, but occasionally twice that many. It is highly endangered because of the loss of its forest habitat to logging and agriculture and because villagers use it as a food source.

Selected Saola Stamps
Laos

Scott # 1366
Issued 1997

First in a set of three stamps depicting the Saola.

Laos

Scott # 1367
Issued 1997

Second in a set of three stamps depicting the Saola.

Laos

Scott # 1368
Issued 1997

Third in a set of three stamps depicting the Saola.

Viet Nam Saola Stamp
Viet Nam

Scott # 2966
Issued 2000

First of four Saola stamps issued under the aegis of the World Wide Fund for Nature shows the head of the Saola. All four stamps appear together, repeated twice, on a souvenir sheet (Scott #2969a). You may also view the first day cover.

Viet Nam Saola Stamp
Viet Nam

Scott # 2967
Issued 2000

Second of four Saola stamps issued under the aegis of the World Wide Fund for Nature shows a Saola in grass. You may also view the first day cover.

Viet Nam Saola Stamp
Viet Nam

Scott # 2968
Issued 2000

Third of four Saola stamps issued under the aegis of the World Wide Fund for Nature shows a Saola near a pond. You may also view the first day cover.

Viet Nam Saola Stamp
Viet Nam

Scott # 2969
Issued 2000

Fourth of four Saola stamps issued under the aegis of the World Wide Fund for Nature shows the head of a Saola against the background of the mountains surrounding its habitat. You may also view the first day cover.




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Last modified by pib on July 6, 2003.