Thames Estuary Conservation
In the last 30 years, the Thames Estuary, UK has become one of the world's most unpolluted metropolitan tideways, but its rich variety of wildlife remains a well kept secret.
Commercially important fish species such as Dover sole and sea bass use the Thames as spawning and nursery grounds. The estuary's mud flats provide essential feeding grounds for internationally important migrant bird populations and ZSL's recent research has confirmed that dolphins, porpoises and seals are all regular visitors to the Thames.
ZSL has a number of Thames Estuary Projects, falling under the Marine and Freshwater conservation programme, that study the Thames and its diverse ecology.These include finding out about the mammals using the Thames, monitoring fish populations and keeping an eye on alien species.
Thames Marine Mammals
The Thames is visited by several species of cetaceans and seals. ZSl conservationists are closely monitoring how these species are faring, with a little help from the public through our cetacean survey. We are also the first port of call when a cetacean is stranded.
Find out more about our mammal projects
Conserving European Eels
ZSL has been working to conserve the eel population in the Thames for many years, monitoring the migration of eels and researching why eels have declined. Find out about eel monitoring
Monitoring Thames Fish
ZSL conservationists are monitoring the fish populations in the Thames as part of a long term collaborative project. We want to know how pollution and water quality are affecting the populations of important fish species, and whether there are any interesting new visitors to the river.
Read about following Thames fish
Invasive species are one of the biggest threats to native wildlife. Every November, the weir at Richmond Lock is lifted to allow a portion of the river to drain naturally at low tide. ZSL uses this opportunity to scout the river bed for non-native species.
Read more about invasive species