The European Eel (Anguilla anguilla) adult population has decreased by 95% worldwide since the 1980’s (Freyhof & Kottelat, 2010) and continues to decrease due to a wide range of reasons, including habitat loss. Quarry restoration provides an opportunity for eel habitat development and potential for colonization - especially within quarries close to current populations. This project will use newly developed methods to assess current eel distribution and population size within Chipping Sodbury quarry and its surrounding area as well as developing a habitat restoration plan for the quarry. Current methods for eel survey are invasive and destructive, thus a new method shall be used. Environmental DNA (eDNA) is a new survey technique, partly developed at UWE, that uses water samples to screen for genetic code of target species. We shall use eDNA to target Anguilla anguilla and further research to quantify the method, creating a population index to provide a population estimate. The project will then review current understanding of Eel habitat requirements and present restoration opportunities and recommendations. The project will be based at Chipping Sodbury quarry, however, the recommendation, opportunities and monitoring techniques shall be easily repeatable and applicable to other limestone quarries with potential value to European Eel.

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