Palmer, J., & Fenwick, N. (2023). Nocturnal invertebrate survey Charlesworth Wetland Reserve January – February 2023. Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust.

Prepared in early 2023, the aim of this study was to conduct light trapping and active night surveys in Charlesworth Wetland Reserve in order to establish a baseline of nocturnal invertebrate fauna in the area. Over time, revegetation efforts in Charlesworth Reserve have become a prime example of urban wetland restoration. Notably, however, most invertebrate surveys in the area have focused on diurnal monitoring, usually excluding invertebrates active at night. To address this gap, this study aimed to document the richness of nocturnal invertebrate fauna in Charlesworth Reserve, with the hope that its results could be used as a reference for evaluating invertebrate biodiversity changes in the reserve over time, and to guide management decisions.

Overall, 176 different taxa from 17 orders were identified in the reserve. Endemic taxa from the orders Phasmatodea, Orthoptera, and Lepidoptera were identified as useful indicators of ecosystem health. However, high abundances of the pest species Epiphyas postvittana indicated a need for future monitoring of negative effects. The authors also recommended that future invertebrate surveys should incorporate both diurnal and nocturnal survey methods to minimise survey bias and unpack community composition patterns.