Romfilatelia introduces into circulation on Tuesday, November 12th, 2019 the joint stamp issue Romania-Gibraltar entitled “Natural Reserves”, illustrating Retezat National Park, situated in Romania, and the Upper Rock Nature reserve, located in Gibraltar.
Natural reserves are places where, under the protection of the law, the fauna and flora are preserved as a treasure of nature’s splendour and of valuable species, regardless whether we’re speaking of plants or animals.
The stamp with the face value of Lei 7 illustrates Retezat National Park, located in the south-west of the country, in Hunedoara county, protecting natural habitats of common interest. Retezat National Park defines an area of national interest protected by law, mentioning preserving the biodiversity unmodified and maintaining the ability to shelter wildlife and wild plants.
The reservation became an area of national interest in 1935 after the efforts taken by the renowned scientist Emil Racovita and by Prof. Alexandru Borza, the founder of the Botanical Garden in Cluj-Napoca. The park was recognized as a biosphere reserve in 1979. The purpose of setting up the reserve was to keep and protect samples from the national biogeographic area for pedagogical, speleological, paleontological hydrological and geological activities.
Regarding the diversity of animals, flowers, species and terrestrial ecosystems, the area houses around 90 endemic species, 130 vulnerable or rare plants and 1,190 higher species of plants (almost a third of the 3450 species found in Romania). The diversity of animals is expressed through 5 species of amphibians, 9 species of reptiles, 50 species of mammals and 168 species of birds.
The forests occupy 49% of the area in Retezat National Park. The most common are beech forests, coniferous forests and a mixture of beech and resinous species. Spruce forests are found between 1400 m and 1800 m (the mixture can be found between 1200 m and 1400 m) and beech forests between 800 m and 1200 m. The forests grow in difficult conditions due to low humidity, higher temperatures and a limestone substrate.
This nature reserve is the largest and most complex mountain region in all the Carpathian sectors and in the country. At over 2000 m altitude, the park presents as an aesthetic sculpture harmonized with the most spectacular alpine ridges. The existence of a strong climatic mould in the form of steps is visible.
The Upper Rock Natural Reserve is represented on the stamp with the face value of Lei 8,50. In Gibraltar, on the Southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, bordered by Spain, one of the natural wonders of the world can be found. In a landscape dominated by Gibraltar Rock, a natural reservation has been identified as a miracle of organic creation.
The Upper Rock Nature Reserve is considered one of the most famous beautiful areas of Europe. Located at 420 m above sea level, the reservation is considered by those who visit Gibraltar as one of the most beautiful of nature’s masterpieces. The height of the reserve plateau guarantees views over the entire area, as well as the bay. It contains many natural attractions through its flora and fauna.
Sometimes mistakenly called “Upper Mountain”, the Upper Rock Nature Reserve hosts Barbary Macaques, as well as other species from Gibraltar. Barbary Macaques have lived there nested on the peninsular limestone for centuries. Barbary Macaques (Macaca sylvanus), also known as the “Berber macaque” is one of the most well-known species of monkeys from the Old World. The Macaques are covered with white fur that protects them from cold temperatures. Body colour varies from yellowish-yellow to dark brown-grey.
Gibraltar, due to its position, is a good host for migratory birds, offering its vegetation, unique throughout southern Iberia, as a temporary home. The birds that can be seen in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, are part of Gibraltar’s attraction and form an ornithological paradise, which hosts rare species of animals and plants, which are unlikely to be organically explored anywhere else.
Protection by law against human intervention in the natural order of things ensures the preservation of wonders and the natural continuity for the generations that will rediscover a luxurious natural treasure. The flora includes in its diversity, Thyme, Candy Tuft and Chickweed, that grows in the sweet-scented air of Honeysuckle, Jasmine and Lavender.
Romfilatelia thanks the representatives of the Domogled−Valea Cernei National Park, the Administration of the Piatra Craiului National Park, and the photographers Octavian Chende and Silviu Matei for the documentary the support granted to this postage stamp issue.