Stories

Tamariki For Tuna – Longfin Eel Educational Resources

Species: Tuna / Longfin eel / Anguilla eieffenbachii
Location: New Zealand – Endemic
Status: At Risk – Declining
Threats: Habitat loss and degradation, eel fishing, barriers to migration, pollution and high nutrient levels reducing oxygen in water.
Our work: Habitat restoration and improvement through riparian planting, litter clean ups, monitoring and education.

Incredible eels

Tuna kuwharuwharu play an important role in te ao Māori. They are a truly amazing species. Female longfin eels can live until they are 100 years old. Older eels will swim all the way to Tonga to lay millions of eggs before they die. Tuna kuwharuhwaru can grow more than 2 m long which means they are  the largest eel in the world.

This eel is endemic, meaning it’s only found in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is also our top freshwater predator which makes them extremely important to the biodiversity of our waterways.


Endangered eels

Sadly, eel populations are now declining, and they are considered an endangered species. We humans are the main cause of their decline: pollution, deforestation, hunting, dams and culverts are all threats to their survival. The longfin eel sure has a lot to deal with these days. 


You can help!

There’s a lot you can do to help the tuna kuwharuwharu! 

We have created these resources to help you understand more about these special creatures, their lives and what threatens them. They will also show you  what we can all do to help tuna recover. Dive right in and enjoy!

The tuna kuwharuwharu is a truly amazing creature. We hope that by using these resources you will come to love the tuna as much as we do. 

Learn more about this amazing species with these downloadable posters and reading exercises.

Learn about volunteering with us here.