Distribution map


Citizen Science and IAS in the Danube Region



A meeting of the series ‘Green Academy’ on the topic ‘Sustainable use of biological resources: Citizen science and invasive alien species in the Danube Region’ was held on 04 October 2019, in Riga Grand Hotel, Ruse, Bulgaria.


The meeting was organised by the University of Forestry in collaboration with the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IBER-BAS), Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water – Ruse (RIEW–Ruse), and the Danube Region Invasive Alien Species Network (DIAS).


The aims of the meeting were:

  • Presentation of the issue of invasive alien species (IAS) and management measures taken at EU, regional and national levels
  • Presentation of the Joint Danube Survey 4 (JDS4) IAS Programme for Bulgaria
  • Discussion of the possibilities of citizen science in the monitoring of alien species in the Danube River basin
  • Demonstration and testing in the field the smartphone application ‘Invasive Alien Species Europe’ updated for the Danube River basin.


About 55 participants took part in the meeting. They included representatives of research, education and governmental institutions, such as: the EC Joint Research Centre (JRC), IBER-BAS, University of Forestry – Sofia, ‘Angel Kanchev’ University of Ruse, Regional Administration Ruse, RIEW–Ruse, Directorate of Natural Parks “Rusenski Lom”, Executive Agency of Fishery and Aquaculture, Regional Forest Directorate Ruse, North-Central State Enterprise Gabrovo, Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River,Bulgarian Port Infrastructure Company, and students from the Secondary School for European Languages – Ruse.


Alien CSI participants presented general information about the IAS – impact, measures for prevention and control, and current legislation. Details about the National system for early detection and warning of IAS developed by IBER-BAS were also presented. Prof. Rumen Tomov talked about the role of citizen science for the management of biodiversity and IAS. He presented CSI projects related to IAS in Bulgaria.


Dr. Ana Cristina Cardoso gave information about the ‘Invasive Alien Species Europe’ smartphone application developed by JRC with the aim to involve the citizens in contributing to the implementationof the EU Regulation 1143/2014. She presented technical characteristics and main functionalities of the app, details about reporting and validation processes, and data integration with the European Alien Species Information Network (EASIN). She also presented the updated IAS list of the app, which included 66 species of EU concern, as well as additional 64 species of concern for the Danube River basin (DRB).


The participants were informed about the results of the project: Pilot-study (data collection) on invasive alien species in the Danube Region with a smartphone application developed by the JRC (Danube-IASapp). They also got acquainted with the IAS Programme of the Joint Danube Survey 4 (JDS4) and its implementation in Bulgaria. The preliminary results have shown the occurrence of 13 IAS species of EU and DRB concern. A total of 39 sightings of 8 species have been recorded with the app. The possibilities to use citizen science data in the monitoring of alien species in the Danube River basin were discussed.


A demonstration of the updated smartphone application for the DRB was made.


See Agenda of the meeting (In Bulgarian)  >>>