Alpine long-eared bat Plecotus macrobullaris Kuzyakin, 1965
It lives in higher mountain areas of Serbia. It uses caves and other underground objects as shelters. It hunts twilight and nocturnal insects in the forested habitats. In Serbia, it was discovered for the first time in July 2013, in a cave in Ćetanica mountain in the municipality of Prijepolje. It is considered to be connected to the areas where limestone formations dominate with numerous underground karst objects. Therefore, it is realistic to expect to find it in the mountains in karst areas of western and eastern Serbia. Reproduction in Serbia is not proved, although it is highly likely.
According to the criteria of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), the Alpine long-eared bat is classified into category of near threatened species (NT) on European and Mediterranean level. In Serbia, where the species was found recently, it is classified into the species for which the data for evaluation of their status of threat are missing.
Steppe polecat Mustela eversmanii (Lesson, 1827)
The largest of all European polecats. Its body is spindle-shaped and flexible, with short legs and a long, ornate tail. Its fur is light yellowish with long brown hairs, and its legs and tail are dark brown. Its ears are short, and it has a typical mask on the head. It lives in Asia, eastern and central Europe, and in Serbia it lives in Vojvodina and northern parts of central Serbia, most commonly near still and slow flowing waters. It feeds on tiny field rodents such as common voles, hamsters and European ground squirrel, but it gladly feeds on birds, frogs and lizards. A female gives birth up to 8 young which are born in April, blind and furless. Its enemies are foxes, jackals and stray dogs. However, it is mostly threatened by persecution by humans, destroying steppe habitats and by using rodenticides in agriculture. Due to its close relation to the European polecat (Mustela putorius), hybrid specimen can be found in the wild.
According to the IUCN criteria, Steppe polecat is not an threatened species, but the population in eastern Europe is threatened due to, above all, disappearing of steppe habitats, as well as in Serbia where it is classified as strictly protected wild species and where a special project of revision and determination of condition and status of populations is realized.
Expert cooperation: Dr. Milan Paunović, senior curator, Natural History Museum in Belgrade Artistic realization of the stamps: Miroslav Nikolić.
Balkan Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica Bolkay, 1925
A strong and ellegant hoofed animal of a thin neck, small head and slender firm legs, it lives at 500 up to 3100 m above sea level. Its habitats are rocky gorges, canyons and mountain rocky grounds above upper forest line. The range of Balkan chamois is of insular type. In Serbia, this species lives autochthonously in the Drina river canyon, in Mokra Gora, Prokletije, Koritnik and Sharr Mountains. Furthermore, the introduction was successful at two localities in eastern Serbia - in the Đerdap (Iron Gate) gorge and in the Lazareva Klisura gorge near Zlot in Bor municipa-lity. Chamois live in smaller herds. They have excelent vision and hearing. They mate from November until January, when males gather two to six females into their harem. The young are born in April. They lifespan is 10 years in the wild, and up to 18 years in captivity. The number of chamois in Serbia is slightly increasing.
According to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) criteria, chamois is not an threatened species. In Europe they are threatened due to disappearing of habitats and due to small number and isolation of local populations which result in inbreeding. In Serbia, it is classified into protected wild species, but also hunting species protected by close season.
Brown bear Ursus arctos Linnaeus, 1758
It is the largest European terrestrial mammal. Its body is squatty and sturdy with a massive head and long snout. Its legs are strong, with big claws. The tail is short. The fur is rich, and hairs thick and long. The colour of the fur varies from light brown to dark brown. It lifespan is relatively long in the wild, from 20 to 30 years. It is omnivore and it lives solitary except in the period of mating and when a female raises the young. It is a polygamous species. It mates from the middle of May until July. Female has a delayed embryo development and it gives birth up to three young during winter, while still hibernating. The young are blind at birth, furless and toothless and they weigh up to 500 grams. A female breastfeeds cubs until the beginning of summer and they leave their mother only at the age of two or three. The brown bear is the most widespread bear species, although today it is present only in the part of its former range. Serbia is the only country which has on its territory three European populations of bears - the Dinara-Pindos, Carpathian and East-Balkan population. The number of bears in Serbia is slowly increasing.
According to the IUCN criteria, the brown bear is a threatened species, although globally and in Europe it is not. In Serbia, it is classified into strictly protected wild species and permanently protected hunting species.
Expert cooperation: Dr. Milan Paunović, senior curator, Natural History Museum in Belgrade
Artistic realization of the stamps: Miroslav Nikolić