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


In 1975 Aleta painted the Canadian species of unionid mussels for Arthur Clark's 'Freshwater Molluscs of Canada,' and we subsequently collected shells for the Canadian Museum of Nature as we encountered them. With the invasion of Zebra Mussels in the 1980s, it became critical to find and keep track of populations of these subtly lovely bivalves, and we soon became intrigued by variations and parallelisms in shell morphology, as well as the distribution of species. A 2004 survey found that we held the 4th largest collection of unionids in Canada. We've since discovered, predicted, or participated in the discovery of all the newly found populations of endangered species of mussels in Ontario east of Toronto, and have monitored the survival of "zebraed" unionid populations in the Mississippi, South Nation, and St Lawrence rivers.


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