Browse Animals by Category

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Showing 1 - 5 of 52 Animals

European/American Eel

The European eel and the American eel are members of the true eel family that comprises 15 species worldwide. All of these eels are catadromous, meaning they inhabit fresh or brackish water for most of their lives but spawn in the ocean. Eels have an extraordinary life cycle. They hatch at sea, then… Learn More


Does the harvest for wildlife trade or captive breeding of this species harm wild populations?

Significant Cause for Concern

  • European and American eel populations declining, considered at risk of extinction
  • Threats include overharvest, disease, and habitat destruction

Invasive Threat

Does the release or escape of this species into the wild harm the environment and/or economy?

Significant Cause for Concern

  • Found outside of native range in China, Taiwan, and the western U.S.
  • Generalist predators, may impact native wildlife; can spread disease

Ease of Care

Does harvest, captive breeding, transport, or being kept as a pet harm individual animals?

Some Cause for Concern

  • Can live more than 20 years in captivity; require a commitment to long-term care
  • Very good at escaping, need secure tank

Health Risks

Does this animal pose a health risk to native wildlife, humans, livestock and agriculture?

Some Cause for Concern

  • Known to carry parasitic nematodes that are harmful to humans
  • Reservoirs for the pathogenic bacteria Vibrio spp. that can cause illness in humans

EcoHealth Alliance works at the intersection of ecosystem, animal and human health through local conservation programs and develops global health solutions to emerging diseases.
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