Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Madeira Botanical Garden

Portugal Post  released the stamp series feature the Madeira Botanical Garden on April 30th, 2010 .  The issued stamp consist of one set of four single stamp and two souvenir sheet. All stamps depicted the view of beautiful Madeira Botanical Garden.
The Madeira Botanical Garden is a scientific institution devoted to the study and conservation of the exceptionally rich flora and vegetation of the archipelagos of Madeira and Selvagens, but it is also a pleasant place to enjoy and get to know the diversity of the plant kingdom.
The Botanical Garden, founded on April 30, 1960 by agronomist Rui Vieira, belongs to the Regional Government of Madeira; it covers an area of approximately 8 hectares and has an average of 330 000 visitors annually. It is located in Funchal, on the Quinta do Bom Sucesso or Quinta Reid, which dates back to the middle of the 19th century.
In this scientific institution are implemented systematic studies on vascular and avascular plants, molecular biology, reproductive biology, and conservation biology and vegetation ecology. The research is fundamental to know the diversity of the flora and vegetation of Madeira, in order to establish strategies for the conservation of the species and the vegetal communities.
The occupation of the islands of the archipelagos of Madeira and Selvagens by Man, with the introduction of animals and plants, caused the destruction or changes to many natural habitats. As a consequence, some plant species are presently threatened with extinction or are restricted to slopes and other rather inaccessible places. The Botanical Garden of Madeira plays an active role in this regard, through inventorying and monitoring actions of these species.
In the Seed Bank of the Botanical Garden of Madeira, created in 1994, are stored the seeds of the most endemic species of the archipelagos of Madeira and Selvagens and of other native species. The collection of seed is sometimes extremely difficult since many of the populations appear in almost inaccessible places.
Other actions developed by the Botanical Garden of Madeira are the propagation of indigenous species, especially rare endemism's threatened with extinction. Most of the species are propagated by seeding, in nurseries and greenhouses, but in some cases it is necessary to resort to stalk cuttings and in vitro culture. At a later stage actions are carried out to reintroduce and reinforce the populations in the nature, especially species with a reduced population.
Besides being a centre for research and conservation of the flora of Madeira, the Botanical Garden is also an educational activity centre. The institution carries out several divulgation and awareness raising actions concerning the flora and vegetation of Madeira and the need for their conservation. The activities are mainly aimed at students from the different educational levels and include guided visits to the Garden or field trips, actions involving planting native species in the nature, eradicating invading plants in the natural habitats, among other.
The Botanical Garden is also an adequate place for hosting various cultural activities, such as concerts, dance, theatre and painting. (Resources : Portugal Post info)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Australian Botanic Gardens

Australia Post has issued the stamp  features five of Australia's major botanic gardens on September 12th, 2007. The stamps celebrate the beauty of plants through differing seasons and the diversity of specific garden types.
Botanic gardens can be traced back to the medicinal teaching collections of the 16th century in Europe and flourished with exploration and colonial empire-building. Seeds and plants were sent back to the gardens from all over the world and early Australian governors and settlers viewed the establishment of botanic gardens as a part of civilised living and colonial advancement. It is no surprise then that land was designated for botanic gardens in many regional towns as well as the cities.
Botanic Gardens of Adelaide
The 1837 plan of Adelaide showed an area set aside for a botanic garden which was finally opened in 1857. Many of the trees were planted in the 19th century including those in the Moreton Bay Fig Avenue (1866), Araucaria Avenue (1868), and Plane Tree Ring (1883). The Garden specialises in scientific and educational displays of ornamental plants, both exotic and native.
Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt. Coot-tha
These subtropical Gardens cover 52 hectares and are located only seven kilometres from the city centre. They were opened in 1976 and are home to over 20,000 plants. Specialty gardens include the Japanese Garden, the Australian Plant Communities Garden with its lake and totems, and the Tropical Display Dome.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
The gardens were established in 1846 but it wasn't until 1857 that the first full time Director, Ferdinand von Mueller was appointed. Mueller was to become one of the most acclaimed botanists of the 19th century. He established the Garden's scientific centre, the National Herbarium of Victoria, and amassed an extraordinary range of plants from every corner of the world.

Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain, Sydney
A 64 hectare oasis sits in the heart of the city and occupies one of Sydney's most spectacular positions on the harbour The Garden was established in 181 Band is the oldest scientific institution in Australia home to an outstanding collection of plants, which include endangered species such as the ancient Wollemi Pine rediscovered in 1994. Only 100 of these adult trees grow in the wild of the Blue Mountains in NSW.
Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Perth
Right on the edge of Perth's city centre, the Garden and Park cover 400 hectares and is notable for its remarkable collection of wildflowers. Nearly two-thirds of the area is natural bushland and has a balance of superb cultivated gardens and open recreational areas. The park was gazetted as a public park in 1872 and renamed Kings Park in 19W in honour of King Edward VII, after a visit to Perth by his son, the Duke of York (later King George V).
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Thursday, 1 September 2011

Lake Eyre of Australia

Australia Post has issued the stamp series feature Lake Eyre, the unique landscape of  great salt lake of tectonic origin,and its vast and changing environment has been beautifully captured in these stamp designs. The stamps issued in four nominal value on April 4th, 2011.The four stamps in the issue include one domestic rate stamp - The dry (60c) and three international rate stamps - New growth ($1.55), Bird life ($2.25) and In flood ($3.10). 
Lake Eyre lies asymmetrically in the south-western corner of the closed inland drainage basin in the heart of the Australian continent. Lake Eyre is the centre of the vast Lake Eyre Basin located 700km north of Adelaide in the deserts of central Australia. With an area of 1,140,000 square kilometres Lake Eyre Basin is one of the largest areas of internal drainage in the world. Some parts of Lake Eyre are 15.2 metres below sea level making it the lowest point in Australia

During the dry season there is usually some water, however Lake Eyre is primarily characterised by great salt pans. On the rare occasions that it fills to capacity, Lake Eyre becomes the largest salt lake in Australia. Water covers the lake on average about once every eight years and has filled to capacity only three times in the last 150 years.
The Dry:
Lake Eyre is located in the central Australian desert and is characterised by great salt pans. 

New growth:
Desert areas previously ravaged by dust storms are now lush and green. 


Bird Life:
The higher rainfall has prompted a variety of birds to migrate back to the area. 


In Flood:
In strong La Niña years the lake can fill. The rainfall of 2010 sent flood waters into the catchment basin.

The recent high rainfall has filled the vast floodplains around Lake Eyre creating wetlands brimming with life. In drought there is usually no sign of bird life and their return remains a mystery for scientists. Pelicans have returned to rivers and waterholes all around Lake Eyre to breed. (Resources: Australia Post News)

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