Aquatic Macroinvertebrates

In the arid environment of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, 33 known springs have been used and altered by animals and humans for thousands of years. Aquatic macroinvertebrates—animals without a backbone that are large enough to be visible with the naked eye—are used to monitor the health of these water sources because the species are often specialists with narrow environmental tolerances and their community structure may be affected by even slight changes in water chemistry or habitat quality.