Our fish and macro invertebrate surveys are undertaken by experienced staff and are meticulously addressed and approached with cost-effective sampling protocols and high data integrity.
Native Fish & Macroinvertebrate Surveys
Native Fish Surveys
Native fish are good indicators of wetland condition as their survival depends on:
- Well oxygenated habitats
- Low nutrients (low ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate etc.)
- Low abundance of parasites and bacteria
- Lack of feral fish
- Abundance of food resources (i.e. macro invertebrates, algae, macrophytes)
- Shelter habitat
- Water regimes
Methods used to sample for fish species include snorkeling, diving, electrofishing (in accordance with the Australian Code of Electrofishing Practice) and netting (siene, gill net and fyke nets). Through many years of survey experience, we have identified key habitat requirements for certain species and those microsites can be targeted when sampling. We can also undertake ecological impact assessments on threatened fish species in accordance with the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950, and the Fish Resources Management Act 1994.
Macro/Micro Invertebrate Surveys
Macro/Micro invertebrate surveys are considered critical requirements for wetland health assessments and management plans because:
- Many sensitive taxa have narrow water quality requirements making them excellent surrogates to water testing
- Their presence indicates water quality over their entire lifespan, not just at the time of sampling (hence water testing)
- They are easy to sample and are abundant in most water bodies
- They reflect changes in physical habitats such as sediment deposition and altered hydrology
- They reflect changes in ecological disturbances such as presence of pest plant and animal species
Invertebrates are sampled using 50-micron dip nets.
Due to the high diversity of scientifically undescribed invertebrate species in Australian ecosystems (or the Taxonomic Impediment) we have established well-proven standardized and comparable protocols for cost-effective and comprehensive sampling of baseline species assemblages.
The high integrity of these taxonomic inventories or reference collections allows peer-reviewed comparisons of impacts at pre- and post-restoration stages on all three components of ecosystem biodiversity. Impact assessment and monitoring therefore focuses on achieving Completion Criteria based on biodiversity components such as habitat structure, species diversity and composition. While ecosystem health and function are diagnosed using recognized bio-indicator species.