|H. Douglas Pratt's Forest Birds of Palau|
Biophilately: somehow it just... rolls off the tongue.
For those not in know, biophilately is the official name for the collection of postage stamps that depict plants and animals. And the collectors of such? Biophilatelists.
I came across the term while hunting for an expert in the field of zoological illustration. The name H Douglas Pratt came up and it was on his site that I dipped my toe into this specialised field. Not only does he collect such works (only if they have actually been posted though), he has designed stamps for Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. He's big on showing birds that are native to the country of stamp origin – which I would agree with.
I also found that the World Wildlife Fund have a Conservation Stamp Collection – for the biophilately inclined – that includes over one billion stamps printed by the end of October 2011. It's the largest thematic collection in the world and contain over 1,950 different postally valid WWF stamps that have been issued since 1983 in 219 countries.
Choose from the Iranian Native Owl, the Azerbaijan Short-toed Snake Eagle or the Macedonia European Ground Squirrel to name but a few... was about to start collecting but not sure Tom would let me devote precious space to over a billion animal-themed stamps ever since I moved over 650 National Geographics (that's about 6.5 metres of yellow binding) in.