Surge in wildlife signals the revival of the Thames

A recent census conducted by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has recorded thriving seal populations the Thames.

© Julia Migné

Experts have recorded a surge in wildlife in the Thames and are celebrating the range of species now present in the river which was considered biologically dead 50 years ago.

The team from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have recorded two species of seahorse, harbour porpoises and a rescued population of European eels.

The thriving ecosystem is also believed to be a breeding ground for two species of sharks and seal populations have doubled in five years with both grey and harbour seals now found in the river.

ZSL has conducted a survey this week and should be able to soon reveal, for the first time, the number of seal pups born in the Thames. The thriving seal populations in the river is seen by experts as a sign that it has recovered significantly and now contain enough fish for large predators to call it home.

Anna Cucknell from ZSL said to the Evening Standard: “The increasing numbers of seals shows how much of a thriving ecosystem the Thames is. We have already got to the point where we have an amazing and really thriving environment, right from the plankton and the small shrimp and the fish.”

“We want people to look at the green of the parks but also at the blue. We have a river flowing through the city … the biggest wild space we have flowing through London — and often people don’t think about it that way.”

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