The Postal Service issued four 37-cent American Bats commemorative stamps on September 13, 2002, in Austin, Texas. The stamps, designed by Phil Jordan of Falls Church, Virginia, and photographed by Merlin D. Tuttle of Austin, Texas, went on sale nationwide September 14, 2002.
The American Bats commemorative stamps feature photographs of four different types of bats that live in the continental United States: the red bat, the pallid bat, the spotted bat, and the leaf-nosed bat. Of approximately 950 bat species in the world, forty-five species are found in North America. The only true flying mammals, bats have long been feared and misunderstood, but are actually beneficial to humans. Bats help balance populations of night-flying insects, including mosquitoes and pests, which cost farmers billions of dollars annually. Bats are vital to the pollination of desert plants in the American Southwest. Contrary to popular myth, bats are not blind, and many have superb night vision. Also contrary to myth, contracting rabies from bats is extremely rare, and studies have shown that bats accounted for an average of only 1.5 human deaths annually during the past twenty years in the United States and Canada combined.
Sennett Security Products printed 111 million stamps in the gravure process. The stamp was issued in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of twenty stamps.
Reference: Postal Bulletin (August 8, 2002)