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.

"I am increasingly convinced that the study of biodiversity is far and away the most important endeavor in the history of humanity, certainly until now, and very possibly into the future as well. . . . Unlike physics, unlike chemistry, unlike geology, the clock is ticking on our ability to capture this information before it's gone. Forever."

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

Introduction and Mandate

Fragile Inheritance is a Board governed Canadian Non-profit organization.

Vision: that there be wide participation in gathering the data needed to understand ecological change in Canada

Goal: To study and understand ecological change in Canada


  • encourage the making of traditional and quantitative field observations
  • encourage and facilitate the collection of voucher specimens curated in institutional collections
  • archive original field notes
  • facilitate electronic storage, retrieval, and analysis of natural history data.


  • archive naturalists' field notes
  • support: biological surveys in Canada
    • the collection and curation of biological specimens to document Canada's biodiversity
    • the study of invasive species and species at risk in Canada
    • the databasing of natural history specimens, observations, and images
    • information sharing and education about natural history phenomena
    • publication and training in species identification
  • support, teach, and encourage painting and drawing in nature, nature photography, and biological illustration

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