Biodiversity Canada Sask.
Biodiversity 2
Living Fossil??
Identification, Taxonomy papers
Environmental Laws, Canada
Species of Concern
Oldman Dam Alberta
Alberta Update 2010
Saskatchewan Update
Saskatchewan River
Aquatic Insects
Oregon Winter Ponds
Oregon Rivers Intro
Willamette River
Columbia River
Missouri River
China Yangtze River
Arctic Canada, Rankin
MacKenzie River Canada
Fish- Rivers
Teaching Materials

Following on the path of examining large rivers on this website- first the Saskatchewan system, then the Missouri and Columbia river systems , the Mackenzie attracts attention next  (see also Yangtze).

About the MacKenzie:

"No bridge or dam crosses this remote river, and virtually no roads block the free movement of wildlife"  (first link below).

"Information on benthic invertebrate assemblages of the Mackenzie River is even more limited than that for primary procucers.  Published data on the biota of the main channel is restricted to Barton's (1986) review".    (page 812. Invertebrates, //books.google.com  link below)

An introduction to the MacKenzie River is given by a Nature Canada page: (http://nc.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=ActionAlertMackenzieRiver)

As the site says, the MacKenzie  is Canada’s longest and last truly wild river, with virtually no bridges, dams,or roads.  The site gives good information plus it encourages the care of the region as a natural environment and ecosystem.  

Some  pictures and information, but nothing about the river ecosystem itself, nor aquatic communities:


A few sites were found by googling  MacKenzie River Ecology, or MacKenzie River Invertebrates.  Almost all sites found were totally lacking in scientific or technical data, dealing mainly in unsupported or vague generalities, tourism,  or activism.   Some  sites revealed what I hope will be useful references.

The Yukon and former Northwest Territories have undergone political reorganization, so names of political units are now different, and the search for informative studies will take further efforts.  Rankin Inlet is now in Nunavut.

References of interst:

Nunavut Mayflies, Randolph and  McCafferty, 2008. Ent. News. (http://www.famu.org/mayfly/pubs/pub_r/pubrandolphr2001p56.pdf

Mayflies of the Yukon.  P.P. HARPER and FRANÇOISE HARPER (http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/bsc/pdf/harper.pdf)

See also for Nunavut: (http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.4039/n06-089

(as indicated above, studies from Nunavut and Yukon are not specifically informative for the present purposes regarding the MacKenzie River )

Brunskill, G.J., D.M. Rosenberg, N.B. Snow, G.L. Vascotto, and R. Wageman. 1973. Ecological studies of aquatic systems in the Mackenzie-Porcupine drainages in relation to proposed pipeline and highway developments.Canada Task Force, North. Oil Develop. Envir. Comm., II. Report 73-41. 345 pp.

Wiens, A.P., D.M. Rosenberg, and N.B. Snow. 1975. Species list of aquatic plants and animals collected from the Mackenzie and Porcupine river watersheds from 1971 –1973.
39 pp.Envir. Can., Fish. Mar. Serv. Tech. Rep. 557.

Two more reports by these authors are said to have information on genera and species in the MacKenzie  River communities- I will report  when the publicatrions  become available to me. 

      The last two of the above references  are reviewed by the award winning book (pages linked below) on North American rivers by Benke and Cushing.  Presumably the book contains very  up to date information on the topic. It is stated in the book that information on invertebrates and aquatic Insects is extremely limited, and discussion in the book is in part at the Order and Family level- mayflies, caddisflies, blackflies, and others.  Oligochaete worms and snails are also mentioned.  Of interest is that Ametropus is mentioned (Ephemeroptera, Ametropodidae), indicating  that this species, presumably A. neavei, ranges from the Southwest U.S. to the near the Arctic Ocean.  The other genera of mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies mentioned are ubiquitous at the genus level (e.g. Baetis, Isoperla, Brachycentrus) so the records are not very informative


Repeat from China  Yangtze page:   I have found a similarity for the Yangtze River in China and  the large rivers of Canada such as the MacKenzie and Athabasca.  In both cases, there is a large amount of information on the internet and in print about the value of this rivers, the amazing rare aquatic mammals and fish of the Yangtze for example, and the herds of caribou and flocks of migratory birds that depend on the MacKenzie delta, yet in both cases I have not found it possible to find the most basic information about the rivers as eclogical systems.  I cannot find information on invertebrate community structure and biodiversity for either.  Also, any mention of river function is lacking.  Are they, in the terms of RCC, mid Order for example?  What is the energy source for consumers in the aquatic communities?   Are habitats and substrates a diversity of stones, cobble, sand, bedrock, fallen logs, or just mud and unstable sediments, and what is the distribution of the various substrates?   Of course, millions of $$ have been and are being spent doing ecological studies by governments and consultants.  So where are the results?  I am still looking.  Maybe I missed something.


Note, new information found on the Yangtze, still searching for information on the MacKenzie

"***The following publication is interesting in that the Xiang Jiang River is a large tributary flowing northward and entering the Yangtze (Chang Jiang) in the area east (downstream) of the Three Gorges.  Thus, we have many hints as to the (former and historic??- or are they still present??) community composition of the Yangtze."