This year's 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.
1 dollar - specimen finish (2021)
Composition three-ply brass finish plated steel
Weight (g) 6.27
Diameter (mm) 26.5
Artist Pierre Girard (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)