Freshwater invertebrates (insects, crustaceans, snails, worms and other small critters) are often used as indicators of the state of streams, rivers, lakes and ponds. In Auckland alone there are approximately 100 community groups monitoring stream invertebrates under the Wai Care programme, and thousands more school students taking part in stream studies every year in a programme run by Watercare.
If you’ve collected freshwater 'bugs' from your local stream, you’ll hopefully be able to use this site to identify them and learn about what they may reveal about their habitat. Such information can indicate whether a stream should be preserved in its existing good condition, or whether there may be a need for some form of restoration.
The creation of this web resource was funded by the Ministry for the Environment's Community Environment Fund, Auckland Council and Taranaki Regional Council.