Last month I joined the Creek Crew bushcare volunteers to participate in water quality monitoring at Tingalpa and Coolnwynpin creeks. We were joined by Redlands staff members Danielle and Ruth for additional activities of nutrient level testing and Macroinvertebrate identification at Indigiscapes. It was interesting to see the areas again after a couple of months, vegetation still appeared lush with continuing rains in Autumn. I was looking forward to the 'water bug' identification with Ruth and wasn't disappointed. It's amazing how much life is going on around us, unseen until you get a scoop net and magnifying glass to check some of it out. We received some excellent identification booklets for reference and the shared knowledge of staff at the environmental education unit. We scooped away and came up with water mites, various water crawlers, exotic mosquito fish and one native Firetail gudgeon fish. Scientists consider waterbugs an excellent bioindicator of water health. Waterbugs vary in their sensitivity to changes in their environment. Some species can survive as water quality deteriorates others are more sensitive and cannot. I started thinking of this as the canary test for waterways.
Thanks to Kylie, Danielle and Ruth for an interesting morning.