Distribution map


ESENIAS & DIAS Conference 2019 and 9th ESENIAS Workshop - Outcomes



The Joint ESENIAS and DIAS Scientific Conference and 9th ESENIAS Workshop entitled ‘Species, ecosystems and areas of conservation concern under threat from the invasive alien species’ was held on 03–06 September 2019, in Ohrid, Republic of North Macedonia. The conference was organised by the Hydrobiological Institute Ohrid (HIO), Public Institution Galicica National Park, ESENIAS, DIAS, and the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The conference was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Public Institution Galicica National Park. The following topics were covered: 1) Invasive alien species (IAS) traits and trends; 2) Vectors and pathways for IAS introductions; 3) The Danube River as invasive alien species corridor; 4) Invasive alien species impact; 5) Invasive alien species prevention and management; 6) Management and sharing of IAS data; and 7) Other topics related to IAS.


One hundred participants from 21 countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, USA, and Vietnam) took part in the conference. A total of 124 contributions, including 6 keynote presentations, 42 oral presentations and 76 posters were presented and included in the Book of Abstracts, a special edition of the ‘Review’ Journal published by HIO (Trajanovski et al. 2019).



Selected full papers (10) presented at the conference and related to plant IAS were published in the volume of ‘Phytologia Balcanica’ 25 (3) (Vladimirov 2019).



Selected full papers related to animal IAS were published in a special issue of ‘Acta Zoologica Bulgarica’ 72 (4) (Trichkova et al. 2020). It is the 4th volume of the series ESENIAS Scientific Reports. The volume comprises 16 research articles, three review articles and three short communications, covering all conference scientific topics.



During the 9th ESENIAS Workshop, participants discussed future collaboration, IAS issues to be addressed at regional level and potential funding opportunities. Participants voted for the acceptance of a new member country – Georgia. National representatives are Assoc. Prof., Dr. Bella Japoshvili from the Institute of Zoology, Ilia State University, and Ms. Madona Varshanidze from the National Environmental Agency, Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia. Dr. Japoshvili presented about the biodiversity and current state of IAS in Georgia and related legislation. A new ESENIAS country representative of the Republic of North Macedonia was elected. Prof. Dr. Vladimir Dzabirski has been replaced by Prof. Dr. Sasho Trajanovski from HIO. Prof. Trajanovski talked about his and HIO activities on alien and invasive alien species in lakes Ohrid and Prespa and the Crni Drim River watershed. Dr. Yuriy Kvach presented his proposal the next ESENIAS & DIAS conference and 10th ESENIAS Workshop to be held in Kiev, Ukraine, in July 2020.


As part of the conference programme, participants visited some sites at lakes Ohrid and Prespa, and Galicica Mountain. The region of Lake Ohrid is characterised by a significant natural biogeographical uniqueness (endemism and relict species) and cultural and historical heritage. The global significance of this area has been recognised worldwide and the ancient Lake Ohrid has been designated as a World Natural and Cultural Heritage site by the UNESCO since 1979. Because of its value and the specificity of the region, in 2014 lakes Ohrid and Prespa were declared as an ‘Ohrid-Prespa Transboundary Biosphere Reserve’ under the Man and Biosphere Programme of UNESCO. Galicica Mountainis another biodiversity hotspot, which has been protected at national level and declared as a national park. During the conference sessions and during the field visits, participants were informed that this area of conservation concern as other areas in Europe is under the threat of introduction and spread of alien and invasive alien species, such as: the fish Carassius gibelio, Lepomis gibbosus, Pseudorasbora parva, and Rhodeus amarus in lakes Ohrid and Prespa, the insects Cameraria ohridella and Cydalima perspectalis, and the alien plants Robinia pseudoacaciaPopulus canadensisAilanthus altissima, and Pseudotsuga menziesii in Mountain Galicica (see more information in the conference publications).


Participants in the Galicica National Park, 06.09.2019


On 5th September 2019, participants visited the PSI Hydrobiological Institute Ohrid. The Institute, established in 1935, is a public and governmental research and educational organisation. It conducts limnological studies, covering the following topics: water physical and chemical parameters, microbiology, phytoplankton, zooplankton, macrozoobenthos, macrophyte vegetation, cyprinid fish, applied fishery and aquaculture, fish parasitology, eco-toxicology, and molecular biology. Since its establishment the Institute maintains a salmonid hatchery and nursery with a capacity of 20 millions of eggs, alevins and fingerlings of the endemic Lake Ohrid trout species. Participants visited the aquaculture facilities and were introduced to the breeding, restocking and conservation activities of the Institute.


Participants at the Hydrobiological Institute Ohrid, 05.09.2019


We express our sincere gratitude to the hosting and funding institutions:

  • The Hydrobiological Institute Ohrid and its director Dr. Elizabeta Veljanoska-Sarafiloska,
  • The Public Institution Galicica National Park and its manager Mr. Vasko Paskali, and
  • The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of North Macedonia!

We are extremely thankful to the local organising committee chaired by

Dr. Sasho Trajanovski and Konstantin Zdraveski!



We are deeply sorry for the loss of four of our friends and highly valued scientists who have much contributed to preparation of the conference publications as members of our scientific committees, and to the ESENIAS and DIAS network activities: Prof. Dr. Ljupčo Melovski from the Republic of North Macedonia, Prof. Dr. Borys Aleksandrov from Ukraine, Dr. Gábor Vétek from Hungary, and Prof. Dr. Roumen Kalchev from Bulgaria!

We hugely appreciate their contributions, support and friendship, and they will always be in our hearts!



ESENIAS & DIAS Conference opening speech  >>>

ESENIAS & DIAS Conference highlights  >>>


9th ESENIAS Workshop:

Presentation of Dr. Bella Japoshvili, Georgia  >>>

Presentation of Dr. Sasho Trajanovski, R. North Macedonia  >>>

Presentation of Dr. Yuriy Kvach, Ukraine  >>>



Picture Gallery  >>>


ESENIAS & DIAS Conference in the news:

          OhridNews.com  >>>

          Canal 5 TV  >>>

          TVM Television Ohrid  >>>

          MTM 1 Skopska  >>>

          OhridNet.com  >>>

          UntrinskiVesnik.mk  >>>

          Taratur.com  >>>


In Memory of Prof. Dr. Ljupčo Melovski 

          Phytologia Balcanica  >>>

          Macedonian Journal of Ecology and Environment  >>>


In Memory of Prof. Dr. Borys Aleksandrov

          Acta Zoologica Bulgarica  >>>

          Institute of Marine Biology of the NAS of Ukraine  >>>


In Memory of Prof. Dr. Rumen Kalchev

          Acta Zoologica Bulgarica  >>>