Citizen Scientists help save the European eel
ZSL works with 12 partnership organisations and we have trained over 230 volunteers to become Citizen Scientists to help save our iconic London species. Supported by the Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation, we have rolled out the citizen science programme to monitor the number of elvers (juvenile eels) entering our mighty Thames. Through this we can direct conservation efforts to save our Critically Endangered eel.
During the upstream elver migration period (April to October) Citizen Scientists don their waders to check elver traps twice a week at 11 monitoring sites around London. If any elvers are caught, they are measured and weighed before being released upstream of a barrier (eg. a weir) so that they can continue on their migration.
Where does the data go?
The Citizen Science Programme has allowed us to expand our ZSL elver monitoring project from 4 to 15 sites around the Thames catchment . Data collected from all of these sites will be used to understand the number of juvenile eels entering London's rivers (termed recruitment). It's the only data of its kind in the UK and forms an important part of the London and UK Eel Management Plans.
We would like to thank all of our citizen scientists for their time diligently checking traps come rain or shine.
We'd also like to thank our project partners: Kingston University, North West Kent Countryside Partnership, The Medway Valley Countryside Partnership, The London Wildlife Trust, Friends of River Crane Environment, Thames 21, Thames Anglers Conservancy, The Thames Rivers Restoration Trust and The Wandle Trust.
Help save London's Eels
We are still looking for help, so if you would like to ‘adopt’ a trap and check it twice a week during the summer, please get in touch with us at email@example.com. Any collected data will be fed directly to a database on the ZSL website and you can find the 2012 report to the right of this page.