Anna Cucknell

ZSL launches Mother Thames campaign

Posted: 8th April, 2019

It may be murky but the River Thames is now a thriving wildlife habitat thanks to dedicated conservation efforts. ZSL is inviting people to get involved and protect this precious habitat for the future.

The Mother Thames campaign includes ZSL’s annual seal census, European eel monitoring and oyster restoration projects, as well as many citizen-science initiatives, and will culminate in the publication of the first report into the status of the River Thames in more than 60 years.

Identifying the key markers of a healthy river habitat, using evidence gathered from more than 30 nature conservation and research organisations, the report will enable ZSL and its partners to demand action and commitments from the UK Government to protect the Thames.

ZSL’s Senior Conservation Programme Manager for UK & Europe, Alison Debney, said: “Throughout 2019 we will be inviting Londoners to get involved in Mother Thames, be that helping us to monitor wildlife in the Thames, or simply buying a re-usable drinking bottle. There are so many ways that both Londoners and visitors to our capital city can help us to protect this precious habitat for the future.”

To find out more about ZSL’s Thames conservation projects and the Mother Thames campaign, visit

Highlights include:

  • European eel population monitoring
  • Smelt Surveys – the Thames is thought to be home to the UK’s largest breeding population of this fish
  • Outfall Safari – use an app to geotag, photograph and assess outfalls for evidence of pollution
  • Native oyster restoration projects
  • Grey and harbour seal survey

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