September report of the Polish Avifaunistic Commission


As in August, the September report of the Polish Avifaunistic Commission, brings only one confirmed record of alien species; this time it is Wood duck Aix sponsa. One female was observed 7.09.2012 in the vicinity of Cieszyn (S Poland).

August report of the Polish Avifaunistic Commission


In the August report of the Polish Avifaunistic Commission, there is only one confirmed record of alien species. One Black swan Cygnus atratus was observed 20.08.2012 in the fishpond complex in Górki near Busko-Zdrój (central Poland).

New regulations on alien species in Poland


On 17.08.2012 the President of Poland signed law amending nature conservation act and hunting law. Some of the amended regulations refer to alien species.

Responsibility for issuing permits for keeping, breeding, offering for sale and trading invasive aliens species was transferred from the General Director for Environmental Protection to regional directors. The General Director will only be responsible for permissions for import of invasive alien species to Poland. It will be possible to issue permissions without obtaining opinion of the State Council for Nature Conservation (which was required before). The applicant will not have to provide an opinion from a veterinarian that the animal will be kept in conditions adequate for its biological needs (again, such opinion was required before). These conditions will be defined in the issued permission and the new regulation makes it possible to control whether the applicant fulfils them. Results of these controls will have to be reported every year to the General Directorate.

The major change in the hunting law is a new regulation allowing to kill live-trapped alien predators, American mink Neovison vison, raccoon Procyon lotor and raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides (and the native fox Vulpes vulpes). Earlier law allowed live-trapping but did not define how to proceed with trapped individuals. According to new act, local hunters are authorised to kill trapped predators using hunting weapon or other methods used for culling farm animals.

The new law will come into force on 30 September 2012.

Another alien parasitic nematode in Poland


The latest study indicate that Dirofilaria repens, a nematode whose occurrence was until recently restricted mainly to the tropics, formed a stable reservoir in Poland. The species is transferred by mosquitoes and its definitive hosts are dogs and foxes. However, also humans may be affected if bitten by an infested mosquito.

In Europe there were about 1,500 cases of dirofilariasis in humans, mainly in the Mediterranean. The first Polish record is from 2007 and the source of infestation was probably a dog that earlier had spent some time with its owner in areas where the parasite is more common. By now the number of cases in Poland increased to 20. The latest study show that there is a stable reservoir of D. repens in dogs and the parasite is expanding.

Detailed study of D. repens are carried out in National Institute of Public Health - National Institute of Hygiene.

Another successful breeding attempt of Mandarin duck


The latest report of the Polish Avifaunistic Commission confirms the record of successful breeeding of Mandarine duck Aix galericulata. A pair with 16 ducklings were observed between 25.04. and 01.06.2012 near Gostyń (W Poland).

This is the fourth known breeding locality of this species in Poland. Earlier records come from Park Łazienkowski in Warsaw (since 2001 r.), Pruszków near Warsaw (in 2007 r.) and from Środa Śląska in SW Poland (in 2008). The number of records of single individuals and pairs has increased throughout Poland over the last years. Birds observed in the wild either escaped from private aviaries, or were illegally introduced by their owners. It can therefore be expected that new breeding attempts of Mandarin duck will be discovered in near future.

New alien spiders in Poland


The two recent papers document records of new alien spiders in Poland.

The natural range of Steatoda triangulosa probably covers the Mediterranean. Due to many unintentional introductions, this small spider (3.5-5 mm body length) is now almost cosmopolitan. Established populations, probably founded by individuals brought with imported plants, were discovered in 2009 and 2010, in two large garden centers in Lublin. These first confirmed Polish records fill in the gap in distribution of this species, found in many European countries.

On the contratry, the other species, Nesticella mogera, had only been recorded recorded once in Europe, in Berlin. This small spider (2.0-2.6 mm body length) was described in Japan. Polish records include the one from zoo in Wrocław, where breeding population was found, and another from a garden centre in Lublin, where 1 individual was found on plants imported from the Netherlands. Interestingly, there are no Dutch records of this spider as yet.

Alien species in the fauna of Poland will not be available until September 2012


Access to „Alien species in the fauna of Poland” ( portal was temporarily suspended due to its re-structuring and updating. The portal is due to be available again in September 2012.

Alien species in projects funded by the National Science Centre


The National Science Centre published results of evaluation of proposals sent for the OPUS 2, PRELUDIUM 2 and SONATA 2 competitions. Among the proposals qualified for funding there are 5 projects on alien species, with the total sum of 2 487 425 PLN.

Rare alien birds in the latest reports of the Polish Avifaunistic Commission


In April and June reports of the Polish Avifaunistic Commission, issued on 14.04. and 30.05. 2012, all confirmed records of alien species are from previous years.

They include 5 records of Wood duck Aix sponsa (6 males in total) from 2011, which increases the number of records of this species in 2011 to 17 and the number of recorded individuals to 23. Another 2011 record is of Cackling goose Branta huchinsii, thus the number of 2011 records of this species is 4 (all of them of single birds). A 2010 record of a single Sacred ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus doubles the number of records and individulas seen in that year. AnothEr confirmed record dates back to 1966 and refers to Northern rockhopper penguin Eudyptes chrysocome. A single female was caught on a beach of the Wolin Island (the west of the Polish Baltic coast), and then transported to the zoo in Poznań, where it soon died. Remnants of a string along the penguin legs suggested that it was an escapee, possibly from a ship.

Asian Steller's Sea-eagle Haliaetus pelagicus recorded in N Poland


A young Steller's Sea-eagle Haliaetus pelagicus was recorded on 11 May in Władysławowo, on the coast of teh Baltic Sea. The bird was seen in the city centre, was not afraid of humans, and had a ring and jesses around its legs, suggesting that it was an escapee from a falconry. The following day the bird was caught and transported to the local recovery centre for birds of prey. Individual marking allowed identification of the owner. The bird turned out to be a 1-year old female that on 1st of May had escaped from a falconry near Dresden in Germany. On 25 May the bird returned to its owner.

New journal on biological invasions


The first issue of the new online journal BioInvasion Records was published in April 2012.

BioInvasions Records is an open access, rapid peer-reviewed international journal focusing on applied research on alien species and biological invasions in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems from around the world. BioInvasions Records is devoted to bridging the gap between scientific research and the use of science in decision-making, regulation and management in the area of introduction of invasive species and biodiversity conservation. The journal provides the opportunity of timely publication of first records of aquatic and terrestrial invaders and other relevant information needed for risk assessments and early warning systems. Also, relevant technical reports and conference proceedings can be considered for publication in this journal.

Black widows Latrodectus mactans found in the port of Gdańsk


Custom officers inspecting a container with cars shipped in the USA, on 13.04.2012 found 3 Black widows Latrodectus matcans.

Identification of the species was confirmed by an expert arachnologist. Spiders found in Gdańsk were given to the border station of Plant Health And Seed Inspection.

Rare alien birds in April report of the Polish Avifaunistic Commission


The latest report of the Polish Avifaunistic Commission, confirming records of rare birds in Poland, includes only one alien species – Snow goose Anser caerulescens. There two records of three individuals in March. Also another 2011 record of breeding Egyptian goose Alopochen aegyptiaca was confirmed. A pair near Racibórz (S Poland) was seen with 7 gooslings. This increases the total number of Egyptian geese breeding in Poland in 2011 to 4 pairs with 19 gooslings.

New restrictions on invasive alien species come into force today


Today, 6 months after issuing, the new decree of the Minister of environment is coming into force. It 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.

Biological invasions in European protected areas


The Bern Convention and IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group started a project aimed at developing ‘Guidelines on Protected Areas and Invasive Species in Europe.

A survey was prepared that is focused on the threat of invasive species in Protected Areas. Respondents are asked to provide information on the level of threat from invasive alien species, list alien plants and animals that are most problematic, identify measures taken to minimize the problems and obstacles that make these measures ineffective. The survey is expected to take about 15 minutes.

New book on alien plant species in Poland


„Occurrence of temporarily-introduced alien plant species (ephemerophytes) in Poland – scale and assessment of the phenomenon – a new book by A. Urbisz from the University of Silesia in Katowice has been recently published.

The main goal of the work is monographic study of the ephemerophytes of Poland and the assessment of their role in the contemporary flora. The book presents precise definition of the term “ephemerophyte” and the setting of criteria for the attribution of a species to that group of plants, verifies and updates the list of the ephemerophytes of Poland, presents their characteristics (taxonomy, origin, manner of introduction, dynamics of appearance, habitats occupied), determines the relationship between the appearance of ephemerophytes and the economic development of Poland in different historical periods and identifies species showing the strongest establishment potential.

Records of rare alien birds in Poland in 2011


The Polish Avifaunistic Commission published a summary of decisions issued in 2011. The most frequently recorded rare alien bird in Poland in 2011was Wood duck Aix sponsa, with 17 records of 23 individuals (7 records of 8 individuals were accepted in 2012). These numbers are similar to records in earlier years.

An increase in the number of records and recorded birds was found in Snow goose Anser caerulescens, with only 1 record of a single bird in 2010 and 5 records of 8 birds in 2011. There were also 4 records of single Cackling geese Branta hutchinsii (one of these records was accepted in 2012), 2 records of single Ruddy ducks Oxyura jamaicensis, Cinnamon teal Anas cyanoptera and Rosy-billed pochard Netta peposaca, as well as one record of single Bar-headed goose Anser indicus, Hooded merganser Lophodytes cucullatus, Silver pheasant Lophura nycthemera, Crimson Rosella Platycercus elegans and Ring-necked parakeet Psittacula krameri. Breeding of rare alien birds was confirmed for Mandarin duck Aix galericulata (1 female with 6 ducklings), Egyptian goose Alopochen aegyptiaca (4 pairs with 19 gooslings) and Canada goose Branta canadensis (1 pair with 6 gooslings).