Fragile Inheritance
ecological change
in Canada
mission cray fish
Mission: Fragile Inheritance promotes and supports the long term study of species and habitats, human & environmental effects on them, and the conservation of biodiversity, based on the lifetime work of Fred Schueler & Aleta Karstad.

Congratulations to Fred Schueler and Aleta Karstad in receiving the Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize, presented by WWF-Canada and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, recognizing their role in bringing meaningful protections and leading foundational initiatives in conserving ecosystems in Canada. The $10,000 award recognizes over 40 years of outstanding conservation collaboration and accomplishments. Great work!

Fragile Inheritance
6 St-Lawrence St
Bishops Mills Oxford Station
Ontario, Canada KOG 1T0
(613) 299-3107

What's New

Fragile Inheritance is now a non-profit organization, and in January of 2023 we have launched our first fundraiser, for getting the Fragile Inheritance Database online!
Fred at desk Link to fundraiser

It is now more urgent than ever to understand how life on Earth is responding to Climate Change. Joni Mitchell sang "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone". It doesn't have to be that way - we won't give up!

Data is our only way to measure change. So much usable but inaccessible information exists in diaries, journals, field notes, and unpublished research datasets.

Fragile Inheritance is is now making it all accessible online, through gathering, archiving, digitizing, and databasing natural history records - as well as continuing our own longterm field studies & data entry. These data, both historical and current, will be made available to students and colleagues, helping them to discover what's most vulnerable in our changing environment. It will also inform the public, and guide decision-makers.

Since 1985 Fred Schueler has been keeping a database that combines catalog and observational information on Canadian natural history. The Fragile Inheritance Database has been structured to handle any kind of observation, including various kinds of text, measurements, and images — a general natural history database which can handle any kind of observation or specimen information. Our goal is to make this kind of database widely available, but first we must launch the prototype online.

We presently have more than 156,000 records (January 2023) in the database, and David Hooey of Blue Anchora is our developer. He has migrated the Fragile Inheritance Database to Digital Ocean and is currently working with Fred to design and code the user interface.

This is where our supporters come in!

We are seeking funds to support the launch of the Fragile Inheritance online database.

SPEED IS OF THE ESSENCE. We must get the data "out there" and there's much yet to be done before this uniquely flexible database is accessible online to contributors and users alike — to prove that we don't need to face Climate Change blind to its effects on our fragile natural inheritance "...till it's gone."

OUR PLEDGE TO OUR SUPPORTERS is to keep them informed about progress in getting the Fragile Inheritance Database reformatted and online - also providing stats on how our data are being used, and summaries about what the Database is telling us about species and their ecology.

If you would prefer to support us directly, rather than through our FundRazr campaign, donate here.

Fred and Aleta's Annual Letter

What can we do to increase awareness of habitat loss, invasive species, and human impact on nature?

There is no other independent organized group in Canada which is dedicated to promoting long term monitoring. This is your chance to support the work of Fragile Inheritance.

About the book...
a painter's ecology of glaciated North America

lavishly illustrated with watercolours and
descriptive prose from sea to sea
drawing the baseline for
a legacy of beauty and
change - Aleta Karstad
and Frederick W .
Schueler's life work