Aquatic bugs that live at the bottom of our waterways are essential to a healthy environment. They act as food at the bottom of the food chain and perform essential services that keep our waters healthy. Ensuring benthic invertebrates are healthy within our waters will require that we ensure our waters are in good health, and as a result, benthic invertebrate health is one of our key indicators.
In June 2017, WWF-Canada released their country-wide assessment of all Canada’s waters. The Watershed Reports included four key factors, including benthic invertebrates. The other three factors WWF-Canada measured are water flow, water quality and fish. Each of these factors were individually evaluated, and an overall health score was assessed by averaging the score of these four factors.
Watersheds across Canada are given a rating for benthic invertebrates based on whether rivers contain a large number and diversity of benthic invertebrate families that are sensitive to ecological disturbances. When specific families of these invertebrates are present or missing, it can be a good indication of poor aquatic health.
Part of our goal of all Canada’s waters in good health by 2030 includes ensuring healthy benthic invertebrate populations, a key factor in thriving aquatic ecosystems.
Last updated June 2018