New restrictions on invasive alien species in Poland


The new decree of the Minister of environment, issued on 9 September 2011, imposes restrictions on 52 invasive alien species of plants and animals. Import, keeping, breeding and selling these species requires obtaining permission from the General Director for Environmental Protection. Breaking the law is subject to a fine or jail. Negligence leading to escape of animals listed in the decree may result in similar consequences.

The aim of the new regulation is to reduce the risk of introduction of the most invasive alien species that are either absent, or still restricted in their range in Poland. It will come into force in April 2012.

A questionnaire on the European Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants


In 2009, the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) and the Council of Europe jointly drafted and published a European Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants. In order to assess the implementation of this Code of conduct within European and Mediterranean countries EPPO, the Council of Europe and the European Environment Agency (EEA) launched a short electronic questionnaire to gather information on this matter. The questionnaire is open for all who are interested until 31.05.2011 and it takes about 20 minutes to fill it in.

By 2012 a dedicated legislative instrument will be developed by the EU Commission to combat IAS


On 3.05.2010 the European Commission published a communication document on EU biodiversity strategy to 2020. Invasive alien species were identified as one of the most serious direct threats for the European nature. However, there is currently no dedicated, comprehensive EU policy to address this problem. The strategy proposes filling this gap with a dedicated EU legislative instrument which could tackle outstanding challenges relating inter alia to IAS pathways, early detection and response and containment and management of IAS. By 2012, a dedicated legislative instrument will be developed by the Commission, to fill policy gaps in combating IAS. This will contribute to achieving one of the 6 targets of the strategy: declaring that by 2020 IAS and their pathways are identified and prioritised, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and pathways are managed to prevent the introduction and establishment of new IAS.

CBD Secretariat Invites Review of AHTEG Report on Alien Species


[After Aliens-L listserver] The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has circulated the draft report of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on addressing the risks associated with introduction of alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food. The AHTEG met from 16-18 February 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland. The draft includes reports from relevant conventions and organizations, including the second Inter-agency Liaison Group meeting on invasive alien species (14-15 February 2011, Geneva, Switzerland), the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The report also includes: an overview of key concepts and terms; an overview of databases and networks on invasive alien species (IAS); and main discussions and conclusions, per the AHTEG’s terms of reference. It also includes a set of recommendations to the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA). The final report will be made available to the SBSTTA for its 15th meeting, convening from 7-11 November 2011.

Comments on the draft should be submitted to the CBD Secretariat by 25 April 2011.

Alien birds in the reports of the Polish Avifaunistic Commission for the first months of 2011


First four monthly reports of the Polish Avifaunistic Commission in 2011 include records of 4 alien species of birds.

The most alarming is another breeding attempt of Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca. In 2010, in S Poland, 1 pair with 4 gooslings were recorded. Altogether, there were 3 breeding attempts in Poland in 2010, with 17 gooslings. The Commission accepted also records of Rosy-billed pochard Netta peposaca. There were only 2 earlier records (of the same male) in central Poland in 2009. The current reports refer to 1 male recorded in 2010 in S Poland and 1 individual seen in February 2011 in N part of the country. Other alien birds included in the reports are Wood duck Aix sponsa and Red-necked parakeet Psittacula krameri.

The origin of Hooded merganser Lophodytes cucullatus recorded in NW Poland was uncertain. This North American species is becoming more and more popular among bird keepers but it cannot be excluded that some individuals may arrive to Poland from natural areas without human agency.

New Ponto-Caspian annelid in the Szczecin Lagoon and the River Odra mouth


The online journal Aquatic Invasions reports on a discovery of a new alien polychaete Hypania invalida in the Szczecin Lagoon and the River Odra mouth. This species invaded areas outside of its natural range in the Caspian and Black Seas using artificial canals and rivers, including the Volga, Dnepr and Bug, where it reached sections adjacent to the Polish-Belarusian border. The Danube, its tributaries and artificial canals enabled invasion in western Europe, including Germany, where in 2005 the species was found close to the Polish border. However, it took a few more years to detect it in the Polish territory. Study carried out in 2010 revealed its mass occurrence and very rapid expansion in some areas of the Szczecin Lagoon and the River Odra mouth.

Governments approve a plan to eradicate the Ruddy Duck in 5 years


Parties to the Bern Convention adopted a plan to eradicate the Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis in 5 years. The target is eradication of these Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in the wild by 2015. A coordinated European-wide eradication programme should therefore be implemented with immediate effect. Bern Convention Recommendation No. 149 (2010) says that implementation of the Action Plan must be coordinated and synchronised at a pan-European level, to ensure that the problem is not allowed to persist in one area while being eliminated in others.