Bahama Nuthatch gets stamp of approval
A new set of stamps highlights one of the Bahamas rarest birds. The stamps are produced by Crown Agents and depict the Bahama Nuthatch. Although previously regarded as a form of Brown-headed Nuthatch Sitta pusilla, recent research has suggested that the form found on Grand Bahama could be a distinct species, known as S. insularis.
Whatever the taxonomic consensus turns out to be, it is clear that the nuthatch is under threat. At best its population is estimated to be around 1,800 individuals, found only in Caribbean Pine Pinus caribaea, one of the most critically threatened habitats in the West Indies. Continued logging and development poses a very real threat to the nuthatch, as well as to other rare Bahamian wildlife. The most important next step for the future of the nuthatch is the formal protection of its habitat.
The Bahamas National Trust (BirdLife in the Bahamas) manages 25 National Parks and Protected areas in the Bahamas, four of which - Abaco National Park, Lucayan National Park, The Rand Nature Centre, and Central Andros National Park - protect large acreages of Bahamian Pine Forest. However, all of the Important Bird Areas (IBAs) where the nuthatch occurs need protection if this unique Bahamian bird is to survive long-term.
The stamps can be purcahsed from the Crown Agents web site.