The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development conducted mapping of Ailanthus within all project areas from April to July 2021 in cooperation with project partners Public Institution National Park Krka, Public Institution for the Management of Protected Natural Areas of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, and Vrtlar d.o.o. from Dubrovnik to determine the baseline distribution of invasive species within the project areas.
Mapping was carried out in four Natura 2000 SCI sites (HR2000918 Šire područje NP Krka, HR1000026 Krka and okolni plato, HR1000036 Srednjedalmatinski otoci and Pelješac and HR2001364 SE Pelješac) and in historic sites (Dubrovnik, Ston and Mali Ston).
The mapping confirmed the severity of infestation of Ailanthus in Krka National Park, whose fundamental natural phenomenon are the tufa barriers, and on the Pelješac peninsula, where it harms native species and endangers Mediterranean grasslands. Also, the presence of Ailanthus from the Dubrovnik city walls and the walls in Mali Ston and Ston was confirmed, which threatens the conservation of cultural heritage.
Given the results of the mapping, it is very important to prevent the further spread of this invasive species to achieve the goals of the project, which are to improve the conservation status of Natura 2000 habitat types and the preservation of cultural heritage.