Last updated on February 27th, 2023 at 12:09 pm
Last Updated on February 27, 2023 Posted by Colonial Acres Coins
The Royal Canadian Mint releases special coins for all sorts of reasons. They can mark notable events, commemorate history, honour Canadian culture, or otherwise celebrate the country. However, arguably the most important coins released by the Mint are those that represent Canada’s natural treasures, especially species that are endangered. One of the 2021 Canadian coin sets showcases the Blanding’s Turtle, an endangered species from Central and Eastern Canada.
The Blanding’s Turtle
This semi-aquatic turtle is a native of Canada and some parts of the United States. It is a medium-sized turtle that is easy to recognize thanks to its bright yellow throat and lower jaw. Additionally, it has a domed shell that looks almost like a helmet. This contrasts with most other turtles in the same areas of Canada, which have wider and flatter shells.
The shell can reach up to 27 centimetres in length and is usually a black to brown colour with yellow streaks and flecks. The head and limbs are coloured a blackish gray. The lower shell is a rich yellow colour.
Typically, you can find the Blanding’s turtle in shallow water, such as large wetlands or shallow lakes. They like areas with lots of water plans. You may also find them inland from the nearest water bodies, especially when searching for mates or nesting sites. During the winter (late October to April), Blanding’s turtles hibernate in the mud of water bodies.
The biggest population of Blanding’s turtles is around the Great Lakes Basin. However, other isolated populations can be found throughout the central to eastern parts of Canada and the U.S.
The Threats to the Blanding’s Turtle
Currently, the Blanding’s turtle is rated as endangered. It is primarily threatened by the loss of its habitat, motor vehicles, and predators that take the eggs, such as foxes and raccoons. Illegal collection for pets is also a major issue for the species.
Blanding’s turtles are known for their longevity. However, with this comes a very late breeding age, starting in the teens or twenties. Thus, the deaths of breeding adults can have a big impact.
To help showcase this Canadian native species and raise awareness about conservation efforts, the Royal Canadian Mint released a six-coin specimen set in 2021. Like most such sets, the $1 coin has a special design. This features a Blanding’s turtle perched on a log in a wetland on the reverse. Additionally, the set features the year’s $2, 50-cent, 25-cent, 10-cent, and 5-cent coins in specimen quality.
This is a perfect gift for the reptile lover or conservationist in your life. It is also a great gift for a young person, as it presents an opportunity to discuss some of the most valuable (and fragile) treasures of the nation.
Interestingly, a newly hatched turtle is about the same size as the $1 coin that bears the adult’s image. By the age of two, the turtle has a new, strong shell that can help to protect it against predators.
The Toronto Zoo and other organizations have been working on conservation efforts such as nest protection and head-start programs. These will hopefully enable Blanding turtles to continue to inhabit Canada’s wetlands for many years to come.
Find the Right Coins for Your Collection Today
The Blanding’s Turtle six-coin set is a great choice for coin collectors. It celebrates Canada’s nature while also showcasing a species that needs some special attention and care at the moment.
Colonial Acres Coins has a huge catalogue of Royal Canadian Mint coins such as this set. You can find the perfect addition to your collection. Alternatively, you can find a gift for a numismatist, nature-lover, or young person in your life. Explore our selection today.