September 25, 2007 13:48 ET

Endangered Sea Creatures Found on New Stamps

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 25, 2007) - To mark Stamp Month 2007, Canada Post will issue the second set of stamps depicting endangered species native to Canada. This set of four domestic rate (52 cents) stamps bear images of sea creatures; the Leatherback Turtle, the White Sturgeon, the Atlantic Right Whale and the Northern Cricket Frog. The first set, issued in 2006, featured land creatures while the last set to be issued under this series in 2008 will showcase air creatures.

Species honoured under this series are designated "endangered" or "extirpated" by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) or the IUCN Red Light of Threatened Animals.

Under COSEWIC, the Leatherback Turtle made the list in April 1981. Renowned for being the largest marine turtle in the world and the largest reptile, the Leatherback Turtle population has decreased by more than 60% since 1982. The Northern Cricket Frog was added to the list in 1990. This semi-aquatic species lives in or near water, and while known as tree frogs, lack the prominent footpads to climb trees and as such, leap from branch to branch covering distances of up to two meters at a time. The White Sturgeon joined the list in 2003. With its pre-historic appearance and ghost-like languid movements, it is the largest freshwater fish in the world.

The North Atlantic Right Whale, among the first whale species to be commercially exploited, earned its name simply by being "right" for fishing - slow swimmers who float after death. They were classified as "endangered" by the international body IUCN Red Light of Threatened Animals. At one time, scientists thought the population of right whales in the North Atlantic to be between 10,000 to 50,000 while the current estimate is just 325.

Designers for the endangered species series, David Sacha and Karen Satok of Sputnik Design Partners Inc., wanted to offset the innate beauty of each species with their unfortunate status, specifically in relating to these sea creatures. "The overall idea of this was really to put emphasis on the species itself", explains Sacha, "making each creature stand out against their fading backdrops, which recall their fragile existence and degenerating habitats." Each creature was rendered the same size to remind us of their equal importance and to preserve each one.

These Endangered Species stamps will be available for purchase at post offices across the country on October 1st. The stamps measure 50.5 mm x 27 mm (horizontal) and will be sold in booklets of eight stamps or as a souvenir sheet of four stamps. Lowe-Martin printed a little over three and a half million of the self-adhesive stamps and 350,000 souvenir sheets on Tullis Russell paper using lithography in 8 colours. The stamps are general tagged on all four sides with simulated perforations while the souvenir sheet has 13+ perforations. The Official First Day Cover cancellation will read HALIFAX NS.

Additional information about Canadian stamps can be found in the Newsroom section of Canada Post's website, and downloadable photos of the Endangered Species issue is in the Newsroom's Photo Centre. Stamps and Official First Day covers will be available at participating post offices, and can be ordered online by following the links at Canada Post's website, or by mail-order from the National Philatelic Centre. From Canada and the USA call toll-free: 1 800 565-4362 and from other countries call: (902) 863-6550.

Contact Information