have been preserved on issues new to the stamp scene.

Among them is a set of five stamps from Belize, the Central American nation formerly known as British Honduras. The set, which honors small animals, initiated Belize's 1989 stamp program.The 25-cent shows the gray "four-eyed" opossum, which gets its name from the fact that it has a white spot above each eye.

The 50-cent depicts the ants bear, which is a member of the anteater family, though not as large as the more familiar giant anteater. To fend off its foes, the ants bear, like the skunk, produces a foul odor.

The 60-cent honors the gibnut, a rodentlike creature found in South and Central America. The Carib Indians of Belize consider this animal a delicacy. Little is known about the gibnut, which may soon become extinct.

The 75-cent pictures the red brocket, a member of the deer family. This animal is sometimes seen in the forests of Belize.

The highest value, the $2, features the collared peccary, a medium-size pig. The animal stands on slender legs and measures up to 38 inches long. It may live eight to 10 years in the wild. The peccary is considered a pest by farmers in Belize, who say it destroys their crops, and is the target of extinction campaigns conducted by the native population.

These issues should be available at your local stamp dealer.


Coastal game fish are honored on a new set of seven stamps and two souvenir sheets issued by Dominica, in the Windward chain of the West Indies. The species depicted are the most popular targets of game fishers.

The denominations and designs are: 10 cents, greater amberjack; 15 cents, blue marlin; 35 cents, cobia; 45 cents, dolphin; 60 cents, cero; 90 cents, mahogany snapper; $3, yellowfish tuna; and $4, rainbow parrotfish.

Two $5 souvenir sheets were also issued. One shows the manta ray and the other depicts the tarpon.


Not far from Dominica in the Caribbean is the British Virgin Islands, which has released a four-stamp set and two souvenir sheets saluting reptiles and the humpback whale. The set was issued in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund. Two of the species featured are unique to the area off the islands' coast - the Anegada rock iguana on the 20-cent stamp and the Virgin Gorda dwarf gecko on the 40-cent value.

The 60-cent depicts the hawkbill turtle and the $1 features the humpback whale. The souvenir sheets illustrate three species of ducks and the trunk turtle.


Our philatelic voyage will now leave the species of the wild and take us to Lesotho, which offers a four-stamp set in tribute to the 125th anniversary of the International Red Cross.

The stamps show various airplanes that have been used by the Red Cross in its relief and rescue operations. Shown are STAL (Short Takeoff and Landing) aircraft, which can enter areas that larger craft cannot.

The 12-senti depicts a Red Cross Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter flying on a mission of mercy. The 20-senti illustrates a Red Cross official supervising the removal of medical supplies from a Cessna Caravan that has landed in a remote area. A Red Cross De Havilland DHC-6 Otter flying low over jungle terrain is featured on the 55-senti. The 3-maloti shows a Red Cross Douglas DC-3 flying at night during a thunderstorm.


A special commemorative cover called "Honoring the World's Lovers" was released at Stamp Expo USA, held in Anaheim, Calif., in February. Affixed to the cover is the U.S. Love stamp and the pictorial cancellation honoring St. Valentine's Day. The cover costs $4.95 and may be ordered from Stamp Expo, P.O. Box 854, Van Nuys, CA 91408.