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.

"These examples continue to reinforce to me the value of good inventory and the valuable contribution of many of the contributors on the NatureList."

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

Francis Cook's Archives

Dr Francis R. Cook was curator of Herpetology at the Canadian Museum of Nature from 1960 - 1993, and faithfully went into the Museum on a daily basis as a Research Associate for as long as his health allowed. He also was the longest-serving editor of the Canadian Field Naturalist, carrying on a busy correspondence with his colleagues as Canada’s senior Herpetologist until his death in 2019, just a few months after being awarded the Order of Canada for his lifelong service.

Fragile Inheritance has received 130 bins of Francis’s archives from his widow the entomologist Joyce Cook — journals, catalogues, correspondence, reprints, and manuscripts, including that of his magnum opus, “The Amphibians and Reptiles of Canada” for which Aleta Karstad painted almost all the species from life. Francis Cook In the summer of 2022 Fragile Inheritance will be working with the North Grenville Historical Society and interns through Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Canada to sort, catalog and digitize Francis Cook’s archives. We also plan to work with others to analyze the long term monitoring of amphibian populations that Francis conducted in and around their “Maplestone Farm” near Bishops Mills, Ontario, and work towards publishing Francis’s book “Amphibians and Reptiles of Canada”

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