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This site contains nearly 2000 pictures of stamps, maxi cards and covers, but has been made as "bandwidth friendly" as possible by loading clickable thumbnails rather than very large pictures.

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We list only stamps and souvenir sheets, and don't include sea turtle labels, tabs, watermarks, or cancellations. Cartoon turtles are included if they have flippers, are swimming in the ocean, or legend/culture defines them as sea turtles.

"Cinderella" stamps are defined as "... resembling a postage stamp, but not issued for postal purposes by a governmental postal administration ..." We include cinderella stamps that bear the name of an actual country or region, and a denomination in a legitimate currency. Cinderellas are clearly identified as such when possible.

Postage stamps offer an excellent and novel means of promoting the conservation of sea turtles, as well as stimulating an interest in their biology. The popularity of issuing stamps depicting sea turtles has increased considerably during recent years; when this list was first published in the Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Workshop on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation in 1990, there were known to be 285 stamps from 77 countries. The list currently features nearly 1900 stamps from 208 countries and territories.

The green turtle, Chelonia mydas, is the most popular species, and is featured on 620 stamps, followed by the hawksbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata, on 410; the loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta, on 224; the leatherback turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, on 209; the olive ridley turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea, on 103; the Kemp's ridley turtle, Lepidochelys kempii, on 31; the flatback turtle, Natator depressus, on 30; and prehistoric sea turtles Archelon or Protostega on 24. The remaining stamps feature stylized turtles, either not identifiable to a particular species, or shown as a drawing or cartoon.

The majority of the stamps feature the sea turtle as the subject, with others featuring the turtle as part of the stamp's background or border design. Many of these stamps are quite beautiful, with some of the more recent additions reflecting an increased awareness and interest in the sea turtle's behavior, depicting nest digging, egg deposition and hatchling activity. On the other hand, 26 stamps show turtles being chased, restrained, entangled or stepped on, and 3 of these even show dead turtles killed or being butchered by fishermen, or entangled and drowned in a fishing net.

The British Indian Ocean Territory, the Cayman Islands, and the Solomon Islands have one or more sea turtles in their Coat of Arms; 50 stamps show the turtle in this manner, sometimes barely visible to the unaided eye. Sea turtles on coins or currency are featured on 13 stamps, 12 sea turtle stamps are in "stamps-on-stamps", and 131 sea turtle stamps also show maps or globes, other topics popular with collectors.

With only modest expense and effort, it is possible for the amateur philatelist and sea turtle enthusiast to assemble a substantial collection of attractive and interesting stamps. (Click to see the most expensive set!) We hope those of you who have already started collecting will enjoy browsing the information and images included here.