Majestic Whales of Pitcairn
Majestic Whales of Pitcairn

Whales Mini SheetKnown for their annual migration breeding patterns, the round-trip distance this species travels is approximately 10,000 km., with the northern and southern hemisphere migrations working in opposite directions. Humpback whales become reproductively mature when they are between 4 and 8 years of age; mate and give birth during their winter migration to warmer waters. At birth, calves are approximately 4 metres long, weigh 2,000 kg., and require 600 litres of milk each day. After weaning the calf has doubled its length and has increased its weight five times. Whales $3.50They generally prefer near shore and near-island habitats for both feeding and breeding with their 22-36,000 kg weight requires between 700 and 1,500 kg of food a day consisting mostly of plankton, krill and small fish, which they consume via filtering system.

The common name “humpback" refers to the high arch of their backs when they dive but the species name Megaptera noveangliae means "giant wings", which refers to their large front flippers that can reach a length of 5 metres, which is large in proportion to its overall size, which ranges from 12 to 15 metres. Whales $1.50Using these wings, humpbacks have become renowned for their various acrobatic displays such as breaching where the whale generates enough upward force with its powerful flukes to lift approximately two-thirds of its body out of the water in a twisting motion. Breaching is believed to relate to courtship or play activity.  Another interesting behaviour exhibited is singing. The "songs" of humpbacks are made up of complex vocal patterns. Whales FDCAll male whales within a given area and season seem to use the same songs and it is thought that males sing to attract mates, or to communicate among other males of the pod. A pod refers to a social group of whales which consists of three to fifteen whales and never more than one calf.

It is estimated the average life span of humpbacks in the wild to be between 30 and 40 years, although no one knows for certain.

Whales Mini Sheet FDCThe current world population for humpback whales is estimated to be between 5,000 and 7,500 but like most whale species, the humpback is threatened by commercial whaling and marine pollution. Because of their tendency to frequent coastal waters, and their habitual return to the same regions each year, humpback whales have been internationally exploited by commercial whalers. In addition the depletion of the ozone layer has affected the phytoplankton and krill that whales feed on, Greater protection of the world's oceans is vital to provide a liveable habitat for whales, as well as the providing of international protection through the International Whaling Commission and CITES. Pitcairn forms the eastern boundary of the proposed South Pacific Whale Sanctuary currently being proposed by Australia and New Zealand, which would protect the breeding grounds of most of the migratory species found in the region. The proposed sanctuary would stretch from Papua New Guinea in the west to Pitcairn Island and French Polynesia in the east, and from Fiji and Tonga in the south to the Equator.

Majestic Whales of Pitcairn
Please Note: All prices are in New Zealand Dollars

$1.50, $3.50 Single Set $5.00

Miniature Sheet with 2 stamps $5.00
First Day Cover with 2 stamps $6.00
FDC with Miniature Sheet $6.00

Technical Details

Designer :
JR Lisiak, Noisy le Grand, France Pitcairn Stamps
proudly brought
to you by:
Bounty Post
Printer : Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand
Process : Offset Litho
Stamp Size : 37.5mm x 26.00mm
Format : 2 horizontal stamps in panes (2 x 25) plus
die cut mini sheet with 2 horizontal
Mini Sheet Size : 125mm x 90mm horizontal
Perforation Gauge : 14.4 x 14.6
Denominations : $1.50 and $3.50
Paper : 104gsm non phosphor gummed stamp paper
Period of Sale :
22 November 2006 for a period of 2 years