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Health of the Rideau River


Mudpuppy, Necturus maculosus.
Mudpuppy, Necturus maculosus.

Biodiversity at a Glance:
Burritts Rapids to Long Island

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 image
Category Biodiversity Index* Biodiversity Rating Comments
Aquatic Plants
1.08 high 30 species were found, out of the 51 species found in the River.
Native plant diversity was high between Kars and Burritts Rapids.
Native plant diversity was lower between Manotick and Kars because of residential development.
Eurasian water milfoil was abundant in the navigation channel.
Aquatic Birds
(spring 1999**)
1.57 high  
Fish 2.94 high Twenty-seven species were found, out of 30 species native to the River.
Fish were most abundant and diverse in this section. Diversity peaked between Kars and Burritts Rapids because of large cattail beds, inlets and bays suitable for spawning.
Native Freshwater Mussels 0.83 moderate Moderate to high zebra mussel density.
Abundance and diversity ranged between moderate (near Burritts Rapids) and low (near Long Island).
Aquatic Invertebrates 5.70 high Preliminary results indicate that hundreds of species of invertebrates inhabit this section. The wetland habitat is ideal for these species.
Amphibians not available not available Mudpuppies were found in this section only, although they are known to live throughout much of the River.
Reptiles not available not available Cottage and residential development limits the availability of suitable nesting and basking sites for turtles.
A musk turtle, a rare species, was found in this section.


 Burritts Rapids to Long Island
 Don't Overlook...  

Map of the Rideau River between Burritts Rapids and Long Island.
See a detailed map of the Rideau River between Burritts Rapids and Long Island.

Weighing a fish.
Weighing a fish.

*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, Allan G. Austin, Fiona Currie