It is necessary to take immediate steps to address the problem of the presence of invasive alien plant species in the area of the Tišina, one of the last wetlands of this type in the continental region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was declared as natural rarity in 1985. The conclusion is a result of the field visits to this area organized by the Center for Environment.
“Field visits were organized as part of the project “Preserving Sava River Basin Habitats through Transnational Management of Invasive Alien Species (Sava TIES)” to determine the presence of invasive plant species, one of the major threats to ecosystems today. One of the visits was joined by experts from Serbia and Hungary with whom was concluded that the presence of controversial species is evident and that steps need to be taken to solve this problem,” said Iva Miljevic from the Center for Environment.
Due to the presence of numerous habitat types and species that are endangered at European level and protected by international conventions, the area of the Tisina, located directly along the Sava River, is proposed as a potential Natura 2000 site. Although the area of the proposed protected area is located at the territory of both entities, the legal procedure for the protecion is officially initiated only by Republic of Srpska. In the past few years, the Study for the designation of a protected area has been intensively worked on and the proposed category is that of protected habitat.
Invasive alien species are becoming an increasing ecological, but also an economic problem in the world. They adversely affect biodiversity, human health and/or cause economic damage. By their presence, natural balance of existing natural ecosystems is disturbed, which is why autochthonous, domestic species are often at risk of extinction.
“In Bosnia and Herzegovina, little or no attention is given to the problem of invasive alien species, so the impact of these species on autochthonous species and ecosystems is not well known. With an exceptionally low level of public awareness of this problem, there is still no strategy to combat them in BiH, ” explains Iva Miljevic. For this reason, Center for Environment will work in the future on research and map the plant communities that inhabit the area of the Tisina.
Echinocystis lobata (IAS) at the Tinisa coast (captured in Febraury 2019) © Iva Miljevic
“Through this research, we want to obtain detailed information on the vegetation of this area as well as the presence of invasive alien species and their distribution. In the continuation of the project we will deal with their eradication, as well as provide recommendations for further management. These activities, as well as adequate monitoring, will provide insight into this problem at site and establish practices that will ensure the survival of these valuable ecosystems in the future, while the negative impact of invasive alien species is minimized,” was stated from the Center for Environment.
The existence of a large number of protected areas along the Sava River tells a lot about its natural resources, richness of its coastal and floodplain area. Even 64% of the flow is protected by different protection categories which classifies it as hotspots of European biodiversity.