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.

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


Crayfish are common, and often encountered, but seldom recognized as species, even by naturalists who know all the birds and wildflowers of their area and most of the fish and amphibians.

Having obtained a copy of Crocker & Barr's 'Crayfish of Ontario' soon after he came to the University of Toronto, Fred began collecting crayfish as an alternate subject in his search for stream salamanders.

Since then, we have mapped the range of cambarus bartonii in New Brunswick and the spread of the invasive orconectes rusticus in Lake of the Woods in 1976, and made many other improvements to knowledge of crayfish distribution in Canada. Aleta painted all the Ontario species in watercolour, and with these illustrations, the Toronto Zoo published 'Ontario Crayfish Identification Guide' in 2008. We continue to document the ranges of crayfish as encountered, including the spread of hybrid invasives into the mudpuppy habitat of Kemptville Creek.

species of ontario crayfish

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