Overview

Norfolk Island lies around 1,600 kilometres north-east of Sydney, in the South Pacific Ocean. Located on a submarine ridge, its nearest neighbours are New Caledonia, 875 kilometres to the north, and New Zealand, 770 kilometres south. A small island territory at the juncture of tropical and temperate environments, Norfolk Island, with its mild climate and isolated location, is significant for both vagrant and endemic fauna species.

The Norfolk Island Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae undulata) is an endemic owl, considered a distinctive subspecies of the New Zealand Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae). One of the world’s rarest owls, it was listed as endangered and headed for extinction, with only one individual, a female, remaining in the mid-1980s. Its perilous state was believed to be due to the lack of large trees with suitable nesting hollows (caused by historical habitat clearing), nest competitors (mainly the Crimson Rosella) and, more recently, a lack of genetic variability and the ageing of the birds.

A rescue mission, in which two New Zealand Moreporks were introduced in 1987, resulted in four hybrid chicks. By 1999, the population had reached around 45–50 individuals. There had been no evidence of successful breeding since 2011, so it was much celebrated when two chicks fledged in 2019. Numbers of this small owl remain low, with recent fieldwork demonstrating just 25–35 individuals persist. Such findings underscore the importance of research and conservation efforts in maintaining our native fauna. Conservation interventions include installing rat-proof nesting boxes, culling nest competitors, baiting rats and improving the owl’s natural habitat.

Technical specifications

Issue date
21 June 2022
Issue withdrawal date
31 December 2022
Denomination
$1.10 x 1, $2.20 x 1
Stamp design
Simone Sakinofsky, Australia Post Design Studio
Product design
Simone Sakinofsky, Australia Post Design Studio
Paper: gummed
Tullis Russell Red Phos.
Printer
EGO
Printing process
Offset lithography
Stamp size (mm)
26 x 37.5
Minisheet size (mm)
135 x 80
Perforations
14.6 x 13.86
Sheet layout
Module of 50
FDI Postmark
Norfolk Island NSW 2899
FDI withdrawal date
19 July 2022

Stamps in this issue

$1.10 Norfolk Island Morepork

This stamp design seeks to show that the Norfolk Island Morepork is a comparatively small owl. The stamp photograph is by researcher Nick Bradsworth.

$2.20 Norfolk Island Morepork

This stamp design highlights the keen vision of the predatory owl. The stamp photograph is also by Nick Bradsworth.

Shop our stamp collectables

Set of stamps:

Set of Norfolk Island Morepork Gummed Stamps

This set of stamps contains the two stamps from the Norfolk Island Morepork stamp issue.

Minisheet:

Norfolk Island Morepork Minisheet

The Norfolk Island Morepork minisheet consists of the two stamps from the issue incorporated into a miniature stamp sheet.

Gutter strip ($1.10):

Gutter Strip of 10x $1.10 Norfolk Island Morepork Stamps

The gutter strip consists of 10 x $1.10 Norfolk Island Morepork stamps from the Norfolk Island Morepork stamp issue.

Gutter strip ($2.20):

Gutter Strip of 10x $2.20 Norfolk Island Morepork Stamps

The gutter strip consists of 10 x $2.20 Norfolk Island Morepork stamps from the Norfolk Island Morepork stamp issue.

Additional collectables:

This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.