At Shamwari Conservation Experience we have to ensure that the river is in good health for the animals that drink from it. Therefore, we test the river’s condition every season, by the use of aquatic insects.
The volunteers use small nets to catch aquatic insects from different habitats in the river (the river bottom, below embankments, between rocks and among the vegetation. The insects found are identified to a class and according to their sensitivity to water pollution and quality.
If we find insects that are sensitive to water pollution, we are more than likely to have a healthy river as it means the water quality is good enough for sensitive creatures to survive. The water is usually in the poorest state when it has not rained for a while and the rivers are stagnant, hence the need to make sure the river is as healthy as it possibly can be at all times.