2022 Specimen Set – Swift Fox

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2022 Specimen Set – Swift Fox

Catalog #: RCM2022-SPS

$84.00

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2022 Canada Conservation Stories: Swift Fox Specimen Set

Continuing with the Endangered Species theme, the 2022 Specimen Set’s exclusive specimen $1 coin offers you an inspiring wildlife comeback story!

Named for its impressive running speed, the swift fox was once abundant in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. The expansion of agriculture and the loss of its grassland habitat—not to mention the effects of predation and poisoning—caused this cat-sized canine to vanish from the Canadian prairies in the late 1930s. It was absent for nearly half a century, but thankfully, reintroduction efforts began in 1983; by 1997, 942 swift foxes had been released into the southern grasslands of Alberta and Saskatchewan, and a small but growing population was successfully established. Through ongoing research, recovery work and coordinated conservation efforts led by various organizations and members of the Canadian Swift Fox Recovery Team, including the Calgary Zoo, the swift fox is mounting a comeback in Canada and is considered one of the most successful species re-introduction stories.

Designed by Canadian artist Claude Thivierge, the set-exclusive specimen $1 coin features a depiction of the Swift fox (Vulpes velox) running through the mixed-grass prairies. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

The swift fox is North America’s smallest wild canine — it’s slightly smaller than a housecat. On average, a mature male will weigh about 2.45 kilograms and measure about 80 centimetres long (the length of its tail alone is 28 centimetres).

There’s a reason it’s known as “swift”: this nocturnal omnivore can run faster than 60 kilometres per hour! It spends a lot of its time underground (abandoned badger holes make for great dens). Above ground, it tends to stick to open areas with short or medium mixed grasses that won’t obstruct its view.

Before its reintroduction, the last swift fox was sighted in Alberta in 1938. It was declared extirpated (extinct in one area but existing elsewhere) from Canada in 1978. After successful re-introductions, the species was designated “endangered” in 1998, then downgraded to “threatened” in 2009—a hopeful sign, but also a reminder that conservation is an ongoing process.

Specifications:
Item Number: 202632
Mintage: 30,000
Finish: Specimen