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Local to Global: the eel story

When freshwater eels reach maturity at around 40 years, they begin their migration out of the ponds to lay their eggs far away in tropical Pacific Ocean waters.

During autumn when there is a lot of rain along Australia’s east coast, mature Long-finned Eels slither out of the ponds at Centennial Parklands and begin a challenging journey. They slide over roads into puddles of water, through storm water drains, across the Randwick golf course and down to Botany Bay where they enter the ocean and begin their saltwater journey north. 

Learn more about Long-finned Eels (Anguilla reinhardtii): 

Activities - Local to Global

1. Long-finned Eel life cycle

From the information given in the video above and from your own research, create a life cycle diagram for the Long-finned Eel. 

2. Mapping

Create a map of the eels’ journey from Centennial Parklands’ ponds into the Pacific Ocean and to their spawning grounds. Add the return journey of the young eels back into freshwater wetlands.  

  • How many kilometres is this journey? 
  • What types of local actions could interrupt this journey?  
  • Indicate on your map where these local actions could interrupt the journey? 
  • What are the consequences of interrupting this journey? 

3. Research

What is another example of a local to global environmental connection? Can you find a local example (eg migratory birds, rubbish in waterways, greenhouse gas emissions)? Is this connection functioning or is there an interruption? 

4. Solution design

Design a solution to allow for the local to global connection to remain functioning for Long-finned Eels. Read about Tasmanian eels for some inspiration.