Friday, 20 April 2007

European Eel (Anguilla anguilla)

Adult European Eel (Anguilla anguillai) being attacked by Great Cormorant at Seahouses, Northumbria - July 2009

Weight: 3.6kg
Length: 60-80cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered

Despite the name, the common (also known as the European) eel is currently highly endangered - the world population has crashed by 80% in the last 40 years due to a number of factors. A spectacular migrant, it breeds off the coast of North America and then returns to European rivers for the rest of its life. This unfortunate individual was in a battle with this cormorant which despite a valiant struggle, it eventually lost.  They have a fairly challenging migratory lifestyle, where they breed in the Sargasso Sea and then cross the Atlantic to live much of their lives in European Rivers before returning to the Sargasso Sea.  They can be very long lived, with anecdotal reports in excess of 150 years.

Related Species:
Order: Anguilliformes
Family: Anguillidae
Genus: Anguilla


- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - An increasingly scarce resident
 - Seen at Seahouses

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, ArkiveIUCN Red List .

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