13 August 2013 | Comments
The Ascension Island Government has an exciting opportunity for stamp collectors, bird enthusiasts and anyone who has an interest in this unique island.
For a limited time each purchase of the Ascension Island Frigatebird First Day Cover will be accompanied by a free entry into a prize draw to win a holiday for two on Ascension Island! This offer ends at 12 noon on Friday, 16 August.
The prize draw will be held at the Birdfair 2013 event in Rutland, UK on Sunday, 18th August 2013. The Birdfair will be a great opportunity for nature lovers to discover the hidden treasures of Ascension, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha.
The Ascension Island frigatebird First Day Cover commemorates the symbolic return of the endemic Ascension Island frigatebird to the mainland for nesting, following a successful feral cat eradication programme led by the RSPB and Ascension Island Government Conservation Team.
Note to Editors
1.Entries for the prize draw must be received by 12pm on Friday 16th August 2013.
2.For details about the competition and to purchase a copy of the First Day Cover, please visit http://www.ascension-island.gov.ac or go directly to http://www.postoffice.gov.ac.
3.The Ascension Island frigatebird (Fregata aquila) is one of the World’s rarest avian species, found only on the remote island of Ascension in the South Atlantic Ocean. This large, dark seabird feeds mainly on fish taken from the surface of the water in flight or pirated from other birds mobbed for their catch. The male of this species can be easily identified by his distinctive scarlet throat pouch. This pouch is inflated during courtship and displayed prominently whilst the wings are extended and vibrated to catch the attention of passing females.
The Ascension Island frigatebird is believed to have once nested on the Ascension mainland in vast numbers. However the species suffered a devastating population decline following the arrival of sailors and colonists – and the consequent introduction of rats and cats – in the early 1800’s. This invasion forced the remaining birds to seek refuge on Boatswain Bird Island – a tiny offshore stack inaccessible to island predators.
In 2002, with the support of the RSPB and FCO, a Feral Cat Eradication Program was launched to rid the mainland of these damaging invaders. The Eradication Program was an overwhelming success and in 2006 Ascension Island was officially declared free of feral cats. Since the launch in 2002 Conservationists have observed the return of a number of species to the mainland. However it was not until December 2012 that the ultimate success was discovered – Ascension Island frigatebirds nesting on the mainland for the first time in over 150 yrs.
4.The Birdfair 2013 runs from Friday, 16 August to Sunday, 18 August. This year the Fair celebrates its 25th anniversary.
5.Further details about the competition can be obtained from the following:
Ascension Island Travel Agency
Tel + (247) 6244
Tel + (247) 6260
Tel + (247) 6359
13 August 2013