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WormWatch is getting the dirt on earthworms

Boy digging

WHAT IS WORMWATCH?

WormWatch is a science based education program that makes learning about the soil ecosystem fun. It is also part of a national volunteer monitoring program used to identify ecological changes that may be affecting our environment. This site describes the importance of worms as an indicator of soil biodiversity, introduces you to worm anatomy and ecology, and provides tools and resources to enable you to identify and monitor worms.

When we are standing on the ground, we are really standing on the rooftop of another world. Living in the soil are plant roots, viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae, amoebae, protozoa, mites, nematodes, worms, ants, beetles, insect larvae (grubs and maggots), and larger animals. Soil is a habitat: let the WormWatch earthworms lead you through the maze of micro-and macro-pores that are the soil's super-highways. The WormWatch Web site has specific projects that invite participants to collect data on earthworm species and habitats. We invite all Canadians to participate in sampling and identifying earthworms.

WHY MONITOR WORMS?

The WormWatch National Earthworm Survey will help scientists determine how many earthworm species are in Canada, and where they live.

This information is important. The number of worms in a specific volume of earth can tell us a lot about how the habitat is being managed, because earthworms are very sensitive to soil disturbance. Learning more about the distribution of earthworm species can be used to help improve soil health and reclaim degraded sites. Gardeners, naturalists, farmers, schoolchildren, everyone can participate in the WormWatch survey. The data you collect will be used to create a Canadian database of earthworm species and habitat distribution. We can't see the big picture without you!

Currently, 25 different earthworm species have been found and identified in Canada. Perhaps with your help we can find more!


 
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