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.

"Wow this is an awesome database! . . . it looks like the records have everything I am interested in."

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

Canadian Library of Drifted Material

Like many pretentious-sounding names, this tries to express what it really is. It originates in our collections of drifted material from shores all across Canada (and the adjacent USA), and its purpose is to serve as a library from which information about conditions along streams and lakes can be extracted.

cldm photo 1
We collected some drifted samples from the shores of lakes and streams and deposited them in the National Museum through the 1970s and 1980s, but it wasn't until 1993, when we had support for a local survey of aquatic animals, and a sudden spring snowmelt provided us with a freshet, that we started to systematically look for drifted shells as a way of quickly summarizing the land snail fauna of a drainage basin, and since then we have collected samples all across Canada.

The shells of land snails and aquatic Molluscs are the obvious content of these samples, but stems, seeds, and insect parts serve as evidence of the aquatic and terrestrial communities in the area, a time capsule, recording healthy diversity, invaders, and extinctions. As further samples are collected in subsequent years, they serve as a baseline to study changes in land use and climate.

cldm photo 2

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