IAS Symposium

A document (pdf) summarising the Symposium is available by clicking here!

You may watch each presentation by clicking on their title in the program.

Or you may watch the video summary below:


Recongizing the increasingly serious problem of invasive alien species (IAS) in Europe, the European Commission is currently working on a dedicated legistlative instrument on IAS. As a new budgetary period is starting in 2014, an evaluation of recent situation might help in designing effective allocation of both human and financial resources, when planning conservation measures against IAS or to improve state of Natura 2000 sites or species. The symposium on the 17th ECH provide this opportunity. The event gathers scientists and conservationists from all over Europe, creating an ideal basis for knowledge transfer in the subject.Asclepias syriaca, Solidago canadensis

When inviting presenters for the symposium we wanted to show the different aspects of the total IAS subject, including description of IAS of herp cases or other IAS affecting native herps. In the morning session presenters from Central-Europe (V4 countries) assess these examples, like in Hungary where conservationists are trying to remove invasive non-native plants from habitats of Hungarian meadow vipers (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis) in Hanság and Kiskunság or another project tries to get rid of Syringa vulgaris and Pinus nigra from Buda-hills to restore habitats for Ablepharus kitaibeli and Dolichophis caspius.

Trachemys scripta elegans, Chelydra serpentinaIn the second part we try to give a European overview, including active solutions for setting up early-warning systems, hotspots to concentrate effort for removal, like ‘Trachemys’ and ‘Lampropeltis’ projects of Spain.
While in the afternoon session we will show practical solutions for detection, like environmental DNA techniques (e-DNA). Rana catesbiana can be a good example for setting up early-warning systems by use of e-DNA or involving volunteers.

Objectives of the symposium:

  1. To overview effect of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) on recent populations of amphibians and reptiles, listed in Natura 2000, especially in V4 countries.
  2. Prediction of changes in populations of amphibians and reptiles and IAS in Natura 2000 sites of Europe over the next 5-10 years, taking into account legislative changes through Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Agri-Environmental Schemes (AES), or forecasted climatic changes in the region.
  3. Share experiences in monitoring amphibians and reptiles and IAS in Natura 2000 sites of Europe, especially in V4 countries. Involvement of genetics, on-line tools or volunteers, and their possible role in setting up effective early-warning system against documented IAS.Ablepharus kitaibeli, Vipera ursinii rakosiensis, Emys orbicularis, Dolichophis caspius
  4. To identify measures developed and tested to counteract IAS, and possible inclusion of such techniques in developing new AESs.

Symposium organizers:

Bálint Halpern (Hungary)

Prof. Jacek M. Szymura (Poland)

Dr. Peter Mikulicek (Slovakia)

Roman Rozinek (Czech Republic)



Organising of this symposium was funded by Visegrád Fund.