US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version

January 1988


Published in Diana H. Cross and Paul Vohs (eds.) Waterfowl Management Handbook. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1988. Online at


As the importance of invertebrates to waterbird nutrition and detrital processing has become increasingly evident, the need for effective and efficient invertebrate sampling has grown. Identification of invertebrate responses to management requires sampling and selection of appropriate sampling equipment. Goals must be established according to qualitative or quantitative needs, organism characteristics, and wetland types. Management objectives often can be met by sampling specific invertebrates to index the effect of management rather than through long-term studies requiring large sample sizes and intensive effort. Certain wetland and invertebrate characteristics that should be considered when initiating invertebrate sampling are described below.