A Mexican Gulf clam in the Vistula Lagoon


A new article in "Folia Malacologica" reports discovery Gulf wegde clam Rangia cuneata in the Polish part of the Vistula lagoon.

The native range of the specis is in the Gulf of Mexico. At the beginning of the 20th century it was introduced to Belgium. In 2010 Gulf wedge clam was recorded in the Russian part of the Vistula lagom, although it had been introduced 2-3 years earlier, probably with ballast waters. The first record in the Polish part of the Lagoon was in July 2011.

Common wall lizard – a new alien species in Poland


A recent article in Herpetology Notes reports discovery of 2 populations of Common wall lizard Podarcis muralis in quarries near the town of Strzelin (SW Poland).

The lizards were discovered in 2011 and 2013. At least a dozen individuals were observed, including juveniles, which indicates successful breeding in both quarries, situated about 13 km apart. At the beginning of the 20th century, some Common wall lizards were introduced somewhere in Silesia (SW Poland) but these introductions failed. The new populations were introduced less than 25 years ago. The closest locations are in the Czech Republic, 135 km away; populations there were also founded after introduction. The western border of the species’ native range crosses western Slovakia.

There is few information on environmental effects of Common wall lizards introductions. The species appears to have replaced Sand lizards Lacerta agilis at one site on sandy coastal cliffs in United Kingdom. However, a recent study in south-western Germany revealed no negative impact of introduced Common wall lizards upon the native species. There is an urgent need to assess potential impact of the populations newly discovered in Poland.

New data on alien spiders in Poland


A new paper summarizing results of recent studies on spiders introduced to Poland adds 4 new species to the list.

One of them is Black widow Latrdectus matcans introduced in 2012 in cars brought from the USA. The remaining 3 species, Cheiracanthium mildei, Heteropoda venatoria and Heliophanus cf. apiatus, were brought with imported fruit. The paper also presents new data on a few other alien spiders that have so far been recorded in Poland only sporadically.

The native population of racer goby in Poland?


The racer goby Neogobius gymnotrachelus is native to the Black and Caspian Sea basins. In Poland it is considered to be an alien species. A recent article documents occurrence of this species in the Polish section of the Strwiąż river (SE part of Poland) in the Dniepr basin.

According to the authors, although possibility of human-induced introduction into this area cannot be ruled out, it is more likely that the species has recently colonized the Strwiąż due to self-propelled expansion from the middle Dniepr area. The local racer goby population should therefore be considered to be native, unlike the one occurring in the Vistula river basin, colonized through the man-made Prypat-Bug canal.

New book on alien plants in Poland


A book Rośliny obcego pochodzenia w Polsce ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem gatunków inwazyjnych by Barbara Tokarska-Guzik, Zygmunt Dajdok, Maria Zając, Adam Zając, Alina Urbisz, Władysław Danielewicz and Czesław Hołdyński can be downloaded from the server of the General Directorate of Nature Conservation. The book is in Polish, with the English summary

The information for each species includes risk assessment including threats it poses for biodiversity (particularly for habitats protected under Habitats Directive), economy and human health. Also data on the species origin, time of introduction and ecology is given.

Records of rare alien birds in Poland in 2012


The Polish Avifaunistic Commission published a summary of decisions issued in 2012. The most frequently recorded rare alien bird in Poland in 2012 were, as it was the case in previous years, Wood duck Aix sponsa and Snow goose Anser caerulescens. While Wood ducks were less numerous than in 2011 (5 records of 6), Snow geese were seen with frequency (7 records) and numbers (8 individuals) similar to 2011, which maintains the overall increase in these species over the recent years. There were also 4 records of 4 Bar-headed geese Anser indicus, 3 records of 3 Black swans Cygnus atratus and 2 records of 2 Chiloe wigeon Anas sibilatrix.

The remaining decisions of the Commission refer to single records of single birds, including 4 species, undoubtedly escapees, that in 2012 were recorded for the first time in Poland. These are two birds of prey, African Rüppell's vulture Gyps rueppellii and Asian Steller’s sea eagle Haliaeetus pelagicus, and two parrots: Asian Lord Derby's parakeet Psittacula derbiana and Australian Regent parrot Polytelis anthopeplus. There was also a record of single White-headed duck Oxyura jamaicensis and single White-cheeked pintail Anas bahamensis.

In 2012 only 1 breeding pair of Egyptian goose Alopochen aegyptiaca was recorded with 9 goslings (in 2011 there were 4 pairs with a total of 19 young). On the other hand, there were two new breeding sites of Mandarine duck Aix galericulata in W Poland that resulted in raising 25 ducklings. There were also new records of Canada goose Branta canadensis breeding in Gdańsk (1 pair hatching and 1 pair with 1 goosling).