This 2021 specimen set continues the Endangered Species theme introduced in 2020. Home to more than 600 types of plants and animals considered to be at risk, Canada has a responsibility to protect rapidly vanishing species like the Blanding’s turtle, which is featured on the 2021 Specimen Set’s exclusive dollar coin.
This long-lived (80 years) species has suffered a dramatic population decline. And given its late maturation (14-25 years), even the smallest increase in adult mortality pushes it closer to extinction. But there is some good news: nest protection and head-starting programs, like the one established by the Toronto Zoo and its partners, are part of ongoing efforts to give this “smiling” turtle a more certain future in Canada.
Unique Dollar Design:
Designed by Canadian artist Pierre Girard, your exclusive specimen $1 coin features a Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) sunning itself on a log in its wetland habitat. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
Did You Know?
A newly hatched Blanding’s turtle is about the same size as this specimen dollar coin! A hatchling’s small size and soft shell puts it at high risk of becoming an easy meal for predators like raccoons, skunks, foxes and crows. But by the age of two, the turtle has grown a little larger and the shell has hardened enough to give the young turtle a fighting chance in the wild.