Canada Post stamps raise awareness for endangered frog species

The Fowler’s toad and the Oregon spotted frog are featured

a close-up image of an Oregon spotted frog in marshland
PHOTO: Teal Waterstrat / Flickr

By: Hailey Miller, Staff Writer

Canada Post has released new stamps to help raise awareness for two endangered frog species in Canada, the Fowler’s toad and the Oregon spotted frog. The Peak spoke to Eli Yarhi, manager of stamp development at Canada Post, on raising awareness for endangered species and its impact on the environment. 

“The two endangered frogs featured on this stamp issue, they can tell us a lot about the changes that are occurring within the natural world,” Yarhi said. He noted “amphibians are resilient [and] it takes a considerable amount of environmental damage to reduce their populations.” Yarhi pointed to frogs being “indicators for environmental health.” According to Wildlife Preservation Canada, the rising and decline in frog population and health reflects the health of the ecosystem they reside in. 

Yarhi noted this isn’t the first time Canada Post has brought awareness to endangered species. The campaign to commemorate and raise awareness for at-risk species has spanned since 2006. In 2019, they issued stamps for endangered turtles, and did the same for whales in 2022

“Saving frog habitats means making our own habitats healthier.” — Manager of stamp development, Eli Yarhi, Canada Post

In Canada, the Fowler’s toad is only found in Ontario, off the northshore of Lake Erie. The Fowler’s toad has been on the endangered species list since 2008, due to degradation of their habitat. These toads struggle with breeding, burrowing, and hibernating because of land development and recreation. The Oregon spotted frog is only found in the Fraser Valley of BC, but originates from Oregon and Washington State. These spotted frogs are severely endangered with only a few hundred left. They also struggle with habitat loss due to development and extraction of resources. They both have brown, spotty colours and reside in areas of shallow waters. With their numbers dwindling, these two species are at severe risk.

“Saving frog habitats means making our own habitats healthier,” Yarhi explained, as both frog species featured on the stamps face threats and “habitat loss from human activity and invasive organisms and pollutants.” Yarhi stressed these frogs “need intervention as soon as possible.” 

The stamps were designed by Jocelyne Saulnier (Joce Creative), and illustrated by Emily S. Damstra. Yarhi explained “there is a competitive process for selecting design concepts, and therefore, designers.” This proceeds to the stamp advisory committee, where the winning design is chosen. Yarhi commended Damstra for illustrating the frog stamps in such detail that they “leap off the page.”

“We did work with experts in the field to really ensure that we were putting together illustrations that are anatomically correct right down to minute detail,” Yarhi said. The stamps have been available across Canada since April 15.

For more information, visit Canada Post’s website.

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