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Manatee stamps coming out to spread awareness about threatened species

The "Save Manatees" postage stamp by the United States Postal Service will be available for purchase on Tuesday, March 27 in honor of Manatee Appreciation Day.
The "Save Manatees" postage stamp by the United States Postal Service will be available for purchase on Tuesday, March 27 in honor of Manatee Appreciation Day.

A quirky new stamp by the U.S. Postal Service is set to make its debut in a few short weeks.

The “Save Manatees” stamp will be available to buy nationwide on Wednesday, March 27, which is Manatee Appreciation Day.

The stamp's design aims to “spread awareness for the need to protect a beloved marine mammal."

The stamp, illustrated by Nancy Wright, shows a gray-green West Indian manatee “placidly lolling underwater near the surface,” according to the Postal Service website.

Here are all the deets, including inspiration and price.

How much does the new 'Save Manatees' cost?

You can get one single “Save Manatees” postage stamp for 68 cents, or a book of 20 for $13.60.

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The stamp will be issued as a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, meaning that they can be used to send letters, cards and bills regardless of additional stamp increases, USPS spokesperson Sue Brennan told USA TODAY.

The "Save Manatees" stamp is available for pre-order here.

What inspired the 'Save Manatees' stamp?

A manatee calf nurses while floating in Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, Florida in December 2012.
A manatee calf nurses while floating in Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, Florida in December 2012.

The last time the Postal Service issued a postage stamp featuring a manatee was in 1996, when it cost 32 cents.

“It was time for a new one,” Brennan said, adding that the Postal Service has a “long history of supporting and bringing awareness to animal and conservation issues with postage stamps.”

The West Indian manatee on the new stamp is described as a “gentle and vulnerable” marine mammal, inhabiting Florida’s inland waterways and warm areas of the coastal Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, according to a Postal Service news release.

Manatees are considered a “threatened species” meaning that the species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Their survival is seen as “limited due to their low reproductive rates,” according to the National Wildlife Federation. 

Manatees are slow swimmers and slow to reproduce − a female has one calf at a time and may tend to it for two years, according to wildlife experts.

See other stamp designs available here.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: US Postal Service to debut manatee stamps. Find out the release date.