The River Thames is home to an often unexpected array of wildlife, and ZSL is working to conserve and enhance this biodiverse ecosystem.
We're enlisting the help of citizen scientist volunteers in our vital conservation work. Whether you can help for a few hours, days or months, there are a number of projects for you to get involved with throughout the year.
ZSL's Thames projects include:
- Conserving the Critically Endangered European Eel - We're installing passes that open access to rivers where eels can feed and grow before migrating back to the ocean to spawn.
- Ensuring the health of London's rivers - We're working with partners to improve water quality in the Thames and its tributaries.
- Monitoring the spread of invasive species - As part of a London-wide programme of works on invasive species, we carry out an annual survey of the riverbed in the freshwater tidal Thames.
- Understanding fish life in the Thames - We're conducting surveys to better understand how fish use the Thames.
There are a number of ways to get involved in our projects:
- Help with measuring and counting eels as they migrate through our rivers, and uploading the data onto the ZSL database.
- Take part in monthly health checks with the River Monitoring Initiative designed to gauge the health of our precious waterways and detect pollution events.
- Join us on an 'Outfall Safari' and help map and rank sources of pollution on rivers in London.
- Join one of our Thames foreshore-based fish surveys or demonstrations.
You will be fully trained so experience is not necessary and all equipment is provided. All you need is wellies, a willingness to learn from our experts and a bit of spare time to take part - we provide the rest!
All volunteers must be over 16. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please register here for more information:
If you are unable to volunteer but would still like to support our conservation work in the Thames, we rely on the public to submit sightings of marine mammals to better understand their distribution in the Tidal Thames. If you spot a seal, porpoise, dolphin or whale, please report your sighting. If you see a dead or stranded marine mammal, please inform the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme.