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Title: “Butterflies as an indicator of restoration success at Washington Creek”

Researcher: Charlotte Moore, M.Sc. Candidate

Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Murphy, Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo


The riparian zone of Washington Creek in Waterloo Region is being restored to provide resilience and biodiversity to the plant community.  Determining the success of restoration projects like these however is difficult.  Monitoring populations of butterflies in restored landscapes, however, can provide you with some measure of the success of restoration efforts because butterflies are excellent indicators of the health of herbaceous communities.

Charlotte will use butterfly abundance and diversity as proxy indicators of the health of the Washington Creek site. Butterfly data will be collected weekly throughout the summer along a transect at Washington Creek as well as along two creeks at rare. The butterfly data collected from the two transects at rare will provide baseline data of a mature healthy riparian zone against which the data from Washington Creek can be compared.