BioBlitz Survey of Invasive Alien Species
The Iskar River, which is a tributary of the Danube River, is the longest inland river in Bulgaria. It crosses one of the country’s most urbanised and densely populated areas – the capital Sofia City and its surroundings. It plays a major role in drinking, municipal and industrial water supply, irrigation, and power generation. There are about 20 hydroelectric power plants within the river basin, four reservoirs in the upper reaches of the river and numerous dams and weirs along the river course. The hydromorphological changes throughout the years have caused disturbance of the natural hydrological regime and sediment flow, changes in the habitat types, and from there, in the entire type of aquatic ecosystems, with all the consequences affecting the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The changes from lotic to lentic conditions have favoured the introduction, establishment and spread of many invasive alien and translocated species with preference to slow-flowing and still waters, including the invasive alien species of EU and Danube River Basin concern, such as the fish: Pseudorasbora parva, Gambusia holbrooki and Lepomis gibbosus.
BioBlitz events related to invasive alien species have been organised at European level under the COST Action CA17122 Increasing understanding of alien species through citizen science (Alien CSI). In Bulgaria, the BioBlitz surveys will be conducted on 21 May 2022, in the region of Pancharevo Lake, Sofia Municipality (the Iskar River, upstream of Sofia City). The BioBlitz participants are invited to go out and by using the phone application ‘Invasive Alien Species in Europe’ to take photos and record observations of aquatic alien and invasive alien species. For the purpose of recording their observations, the participants will need a phone or tablet.
As an accompanying event, fish sampling methods will be demonstrated to the participants and they will be informed about the direct and indirect threats to native ichthyofauna arising from changed hydromorphological conditions and other human impact, including invasive alien species.
Online Event - No
Country - Bulgaria
Name of contact person - Teodora Trichkova