In 2007 Libya had two previous WWF postal stamps issues: in 1987 and 1997.
1987 Slender-horned Gazelle, Gazella leptoceros
1997 Libyan Wildcat, Felis lybica
After ten years it was the right time to have a new Libyan WWF issue. The project was developed in cooperation between the Libyan Posts (GPTC General Posts and Telecommunications Company in Tripoli) and the WWF World Wide Fund for Nature in Gland-Switzerland.
The scientists of WWF selected a suitable endangered animal present in the territory of Libya and submitted it to the evaluation of GPTC. The animal was the Rueppell's Fox, Vulpes rueppelli (Schinz, 1825). It is a type of small fox living in the stony and arid regions of Libya, not to be confused with the most famous sand desert fox, Fennec, Vulpes zerda.
The proposal was accepted. WWF sent a selection of high-resolution images to GPTC in order to realize the stamps. Mr. Khaled Tabbakh, official designer of the Libyan Posts, had the commision to develop the subjects. He first realized four designs.
Later on it was decided to use directly the images in the original photos and Mr. Tabbakh realized the graphical sketch of the issue. It was made as a minisheet of eight stamps (minisheet size mm.200x100 with two strips of four stamps mm.40x30 each) similar to the 1997 minisheet issue which was greatly appreciated by WWF collectors. The face-value was fixed at 750 dirhams each stamp.
Graphical sketch (original, stamped and signed)
Based on the graphical sketch, a digital image of the final minisheet was realized.
After some few changes and corrections in the texts, a pre-printing master proof was realized and approved both by GPTC and WWF.
Pre-printing master proof
Final printing could start.
Printing-proof (complete sheet mm.250x350 imperforated)
The minisheet was ready.
The issue was completed with a very nice First Day of Issue Cover with the fox's head on the left side realized with silver foil application. A special large-size green postmark was also realized. The issue was officially realeased on Thursday, May 1st 2008.
Special First Day of Issue Cover with Mr. Tabbakh's stamp and signature