06 October 2016

India - Philippines Joint Issue 16.11.2009

The picture on the stamp shows the Gangetic Dolphin (Platanista Gangetica) and the Butanding (Rhincodon Typus)

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus), known locally as the Butanding, is among the best loved marine animals that populate or visit Philippine waters. The Butanding is the largest variety of shark and can measure up to 20 meters in length and weigh more than 30 tons, i.e. the largest living fish species, but in spite of its size, this animal is known to be remarkably gentle. The Butanding is a slow moving, filter-feeding shark having very large mouth, fed mainly on plankton, microscopic plants, and animals.
Donsol in Sorsogon province has been declared as a sanctuary for the whale sharks and there is now a thriving eco-tourism program in place that allows people to see and swim with these “gentle giants of the deep.” An animal festival is also held in the municipality in honour of the fascinating creatures.
The Gangetic river dolphin occurs only in the fresh water rivers of India and Bangladesh. It is known as the fresh water tiger. Today it is a highly threatened species. Dams and barrages had posed a major threat to this water dolphin as they isolate the dolphins preventing them from swimming freely up and down the river.

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