Insect Biodiversity and Biogeography along the Thelon River, NWT

Regions: South Slave Region

Tags: biology, biodiversity, invertebrates, insects

Principal Investigator: Currie, Douglas (2)
Licence Number: 13335
Organization: Royal Ontario Museum
Licenced Year(s): 2002 2000
Issued: Jun 23, 2002
Project Team: Dr. Donna

Objective(s): The Canadian north remains the most inadequately surveyed area in North America in terms of its invertebrate fauna. In the 1950's the "Northern Insect Survey" was done to address gaps in the faunal record, however there were relatively few sites sampled and specimens were not preserved using techniques suitable for modern analysis. Collections along the Horton River in 2000 yielded a number of species not recorded from Alaska and Yukon (Beringia). To address faunistic and biogeographical questions, our team will conduct a collecting programme along a 350 km west-to-east transect along the Thelon River from its confluence with the Clarke River (NWT) to Beverly Lake (Nunavut). River travel offers the only means to cover significant terrain in a cost-effective fashion. The study will occur during the brief warm weather period when it is possible to collect adult insects. Material collected will provide new insights about the diverse biogeography of northern rivers, including knowledge of insects of medical and veterinary importance (eg. black flies, mosquitoes, horse flies, no-see-ums). The survey will also provide baseline information about aquatic-insect composition, which in turn may be used to monitor changes in water quality over time.