Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are commonly regarded as a major threat to the biological diversity on a global scale, second only to habitat loss. Although the problem is well recognised, concerted attempts to solve it have only been undertaken within last decades few years. Collection and dissemination of information on IAS are widely recognised as crucial components for solving the problems they pose.
In 1999, the database on species introduced into Poland was developed at the Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow for the Ministry of the Environment. In 2003, thanks to a grant from the US State Department, part of the data was translated and made accessible on the Internet.
In 2003-2009, as a result of cooperation between a group of experts, new species were included. Currently there are 1239 alien species of plants, animals and fungi in the database. Part of the detailed data relating to species is available. These include: pathway, place and time of introduction into Poland, current distribution, population trends and impact on native species, habitats and ecosystems. Necessity and methods of species control management are also assessed.
The Polish database became a part of NOBANIS (European Network on Invasive Alien Species; www.nobanis.org) which is an important gateway to data on invasive alien species in Northern and Central Europe. The database was also the main source of data from Poland provided for the DAISIE project (Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe; www.europe-aliens.org), whose aim was to develop a database of on all alien species in Europe. In 2009, the database structure was significantly changed, according to guidelines developed by GISIN (Global Invasive Species Information Network; www.gisinetwork.org).
The level of detail in species accounts in the database ranges from mere speciesname, to comprehensive datasheets. In future, new alien species will be added to the database and data concerning the species already recorded will be updated. We have made every effort to check the accuracy of the data. However, we are aware that there are mistakes and inconsistencies that were not avoided. Therefore please send any questions you might have and any comments concerning the database to:
Gatunki Obce w Polsce
Instytut Ochrony Przyrody PAN
Al. Mickiewicza 33
tel. +12 37 03 539