Burrowing behaviour of the European eel

Monday, August 17, 2020

The European eel is a fascinating species known for its incredible trans-Atlantic spawning migration.

However, when on the continent in rivers and lakes in the non-migratory, growing stage, the eel seeks refuge in substrates to hide from predators.

Since not much is known about eel burrowing behaviour, we tested this for different eel life stages and substrates (from sand to coarse gravel).

These results could actually be applied in management to help the critically endangered eel (for instance by adding hiding substrate at spots where eels accumulate such as migration barriers).