Endangered Species

October 01, 2007

"The human brain now holds the key to our future. We need to recall the image of the planet from outer space: a single entity in which air, water and continents are interconnected. That is our home." David Suzuki

As David Suzuki's quote at left tells us, endangered species are a stark reminder of the interconnectedness of our planet. On land, in water, and in the air-there are more than 500 plant and animal species currently at risk in Canada, according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

To mark Stamp Collecting Month 2007 and raise awareness about endangered species, Canada Post will issue the second in a three-year series of stamps that portray wildlife native to Canada. In the first set of this series, issued in September 2006, animals that live on land were depicted: the blotched tiger salamander, blue racer, Newfoundland marten and swift fox. Now, the second set is being unveiled and will celebrate animals that live in the water: the leatherback turtle, white sturgeon, North Atlantic right whale and northern cricket frog.

With these four species facing imminent extirpation or extinction, the development of the stamps was heightened with personal significance for the designers David Sacha and Karen Satok of Sputnik Design Partners in Toronto. "Preserving the resources of our planet-including its inhabitants-is a very important message for us to be able to communicate, as well as a rewarding one. We are very excited to be part of a process that can make a difference in bringing awareness to such an under-recognized cause."

Danielle Trottier, Manager of Stamp Design and Production at Canada Post, also finds that this series holds special importance. "We can look to these animals as an indicator of how we're doing on the environmental front."

Trottier adds: "As postage stamps, this series will make a wonderful teaching tool in the classroom or even for parents and their children. Our next generation is very wise-and eager to make a difference-when it comes to environmental issues." In addition to background information on at-risk species, the packaging for the four domestic rate (52¢) stamps also includes a map that highlights where each of the four species can be found in Canada.

The majestic beauty so elegantly portrayed in this second set in the series will certainly prove to be a must-have complement to any collection. Renowned for his ability to produce exacting detail, Canada's Doug Martin illustrated the images using fine brushes and acrylic paint on 10" x 12" boards. Each individual water creature, from the whale to the cricket frog, is consciously depicted in the same size-a reminder of the equal importance to preserve each one.

To learn more about species at risk and what can be done to help save them, visit www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca or www.naturecanada.ca/endangered.asp.

Facing Facts

  • The population of the leatherback turtle has decreased by more than 60 per cent since 1982 due to a combination of natural predators, shoreline pollution and commercial development of tropical beaches.
  • In the less than 30 years since the start of commercial fishing, the once abundant white sturgeon has been pushed to the brink of extinction.
  • Past population estimates of the North Atlantic right whale ranged from 10,000 to 50,000, but the present day estimate is a scant 325, largely a result of intense exploitation by the whaling industry.
  • While once found in several locations along the southern reaches of Canada, the northern cricket frog now survives in only one location-Point Pelee and Pelee Island-due to significant habitat degradation caused by human interference.
Official First Day Cover

Official First Day Cover


  • Product #: 403688126
  • Denomination: 4 x 52¢
  • Design: Sputnik Design Partners Inc.
  • Dimensions: 50.5 mm x 27 mm (horizontal)
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Printing Process: Lithography in 8 colours
  • Quantity: 26,000
  • Gum Type: Pressure sensitive
  • Illustration: Doug Martin (i2iart)
  • Perforations: Kiss cut
  • Tagging: General, 4 sides
  • Paper Type: Tullis Russell
  • OFDC Cancellation Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Booklet of 8 stamps

Booklet of 8 stamps


  • Product #: 413688111
  • Dimensions: 50.5 mm x 27 mm (horizontal)
  • Quantity: 3,606,400
  • Gum Type: Pressure sensitive
  • Perforations: Kiss cut
Souvenir sheet of 4 stamps

Souvenir sheet of 4 stamps


  • Product #: 403688145
  • Dimensions: 160 mm x 75 mm
  • Quantity: 350,000
  • Gum Type: P.V.A.
  • Perforations: 13+