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Health of the Rideau River


Canada Goose, Branta canadensis.
Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) are often seen in downtown Ottawa!

Biodiversity at a Glance:
Hogs Back to the Rideau Falls

The results of research conducted during the Project have allowed the calculation of a biodiversity index, for aquatic plants and certain animals. The biodiversity index reflects both diversity and abundance.

Each species category measures its biodiversity index on its own scale. In order to facilitate interpretation and comparison with other species categories, we have attributed a level (high, moderate, low) to the value calculated.

image Summary of Results of Research
Conducted in 1998 through 2000
Category Biodiversity Index* Biodiversity Rating Comments
Aquatic Plants
0.66 moderate 38 species were present, out of the 51 species found in the River.
All 5 species of exotic aquatic plants found in the River were present in this section.
Aquatic plants are particularly diverse and abundant near Bank Street and between Bank Street and Brewer Park.
Aquatic Birds
(spring 1999**)
1.20 moderate Waterfowl are less abundant here because suitable habitat is limited, compared to the wetlands upstream. Ducks, geese and Mute Swans can be seen swimming and feeding along the shore.
Fish 2.48 moderate Twenty-three species were present, out of the 30 native species found in the River.
Brewer Park is a high-quality breeding area. Rock bass is the most abundant fish species.
Native Freshwater Mussels 0.60 moderate High zebra mussel density. Very few native mussels remain. Two of the six species of native mussels found in the Sandy Hill section were found alive. Three of the five species of native mussels found in the Billings Bridge section were found alive.
Aquatic Invertebrates 5.46 high Preliminary results indicate that hundreds of species of invertebrates inhabit this section, where the shallow, flowing water is ideal for them.
Amphibians not available not available Northern leopard frogs seem rare. Residential development of shorelines has reduced habitat needed for summer foraging. Toads, however, seem to do well and use adjacent lawns and gardens in residential areas.
Reptiles not available not available Volunteers have compensated for the reduction in basking sites sites for turtles by adding artificial ones. Red-eared sliders, released by pet owners, were found in this section.


  Hogs Back to Rideau Falls  
 Don't Overlook...  

Map of the Rideau River between Hogs Back and the Rideau Falls.
See a detailed map of the Rideau River between Hogs Back and the Rideau Falls.

Yellow pond lily, Nuphar variegata.
Yellow pond lily, Nuphar variegata.

*Use of the Biodiversity Index value to compare the different sections of the River is appropriate within a single species category.

**Results from 1999 were selected because it is not appropriate to combine the results of the three years of research (1998 to 2000).
A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
 Images: Canadian Museum of Nature, Lynn Gillespie