The Nature of the Rideau River HomeFrançais  
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For Teachers


Follow the Guide

While exploring this site, your students can gather information that will support learning on the following concepts, as presented in the Common Framework of Science Learning Outcomes, K to 12 (Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, 1997).
Bullet. Habitats and Communities (Gr. 4)
Bullet. Diversity of Life (Gr. 6)
Bullet. Interactions within Ecosystems (Gr. 7)
Bullet. Water Systems on Earth (Gr. 8)
Bullet. Sustainability of Ecosystems (Gr. 10)
Bullet. Interactions among Living Things (Gr. 11 to 12)
Animals and Plants of the River
European frogbit flower, Hydrocharis morsus-ranae.
A flower of European frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae), which is an exotic species.
In this vast section of the site, you can explore the interactions between plants and animals and their river habitat and ecosystem. You can also find out about their status, the threats they are facing and the loss of their habitat. (Fish, Mussels, Aquatic Invertebrates, Amphibians, Reptiles, Aquatic Birds, Algae, Aquatic Plants and Exotic Species).

Species lists tell you what animals and plants live in the River. (Fish, Mussels, Aquatic Invertebrates, Amphibians, Reptiles, Aquatic Birds, Algae, Aquatic Plants and Exotic Species).

Photo galleries offer a close-up look at many of the organisms of the Rideau River, from the Great Blue Heron to tiny invertebrates. (Fish, Mussels, Aquatic Invertebrates, Amphibians, Reptiles, Aquatic Birds, Algae, Aquatic Plants and Exotic Species).

Meet the Relatives provides information on characteristics, habitat needs, life cycles and unique features of common families of fish, aquatic birds, amphibians, reptiles and several types of aquatic invertebrates.

The Health of the River
Leech (Helobdella stagnalis) eating a snail.
This leech (Helobdella stagnalis), seen on the right, is eating a snail.
For three years, the researchers and partners of the Canadian Museum of Nature explored the Rideau River, analysing even the contents of tiny droplets of water! See their summary of the health of the River and the importance of preserving the shoreline.

Further explore the diversity of aquatic life as you navigate along the River. Discover how the plants and animals are doing and learn about the quality of the water. (Smiths Falls to Burritts Rapids, Burritts Rapids to Long Island, Long Island to Hogs Back and Hogs Back to the Rideau Falls).

Explore the concept of biodiversity with your students by asking them: What is biodiversity?, Why should we be concerned?

Water Quality
If the freshwater system is of interest to your students, they can find out about the natural components of water and about the quality of the water in the Rideau River.

Your students can learn about the role of fertilizers, bacteria, metals and dissolved salts in rivers, and the presence of these materials in the Rideau River in particular.

Measuring a northern pike, Esox lucius.
A northern pike (Esox lucius) is measured before being released back into the River.
Rideau River Biodiversity Project
Rather like an ecosystem, the Project relied on the collaboration of many participants; the involvement of community partners was essential. Find out more about the origins and goals of this multidisciplinary and innovative project, as well as the research methodology used by the scientists.

Get into Action!
For the action-oriented, we offer simple things you can do to help the River. You can also contact a community group actively involved in its conservation. Your school may want to adopt a river, monitoring its health and taking action to protect it.

Eastern lampmussel, Lampsilis radiata.
Eastern lampmussel, Lampsilis radiata (centre).
Resources have been assembled for further inquiries: downloadable documents, Web links, a bibliography, and a glossary.

At a Glance
After many years of research on the Rideau River, we have a lot of information to share; to quickly find information that interests you, consult the site map.



Smooth green snake (Opheodrys vernalis) hatching.
A smooth green snake (Opheodrys vernalis) hatching from its egg.
A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
 Images: Canadian Museum of Nature, Lynn Gillespie, Ed Hendrycks, André Martel, Anne Phelps