New Zealand’s Longfin Eel in Trouble

Year 7 students from Water Whanau have been engaging in hands-on learning about the plight of the Long Fin Eel and their habitats. Long Fin Eels are endemic to New Zealand and are considered to be an endangered species.

As a part of their Term 1 ‘Camp’ context, students were fortunate to work with Kate Loman from WaiCare to conduct a series of water quality tests for the streams behind MHJC and in the Tane Forest. Students tested for water quality parameters such as Ph, water temperature, clarity and dissolved oxygen.  Students also enjoyed some close encounters with macro invertebrates in the streams (pictured below).

As a part of their camp experience this week, students will be hiking to the beautiful Kitekite Falls in Piha in the hope to see larger Long Fin Eels that are 20-80 years old.   As the eels only spawn at the end of their life cycle in trenches near Tonga, any eels that are caught within New Zealand’s waterways are prevented from reproducing.  Students are completing first hand research and social action to protect New Zealand’s Long Fin Eel and it’s habitat.

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 7.27.07 AM