Ambrosia control program moves to the Invasive Species Centre in Poreč

The Ambrosia – Threat from Nature program was realized for the 10th year within the ecological program of the Healthy City of Poreč and has already resulted in significant sensitisation of key individuals in the community, experts and citizens for the need to combat ambrosia/ragweed – an invasive species that causes allergic reactions in a great number of people.

During 2015/2016 the Healthy City of Poreč, in cooperation with the City of Poreč and the Institute for Agriculture and Tourism, supported the expansion of the project to monitor invasive plant species in Poreč on ailanthus and caulerpa racemosa.

In 2017, complete preparations were made for the institutionalisation and transfer of all the achievements of the Ambrosia – Threat from Nature program, developed in the Healthy City of Poreč, and for its implementation into the work program of the new Poreč Invasive Species Centre (CIV) within the Poreč Institute of Agriculture and Tourism. Thus, the program for control and suppression of ragweed and other invasive species in Poreč from 1.1.2018 is realised in the CIV program.

In this way, after 10 years of development in the Healthy City of Poreč, the ambrosia control program becomes part of an comprehensive project to control and manage the invasive species of Poreč and Istria under the responsibility of the Poreč Institute.


In the last 30 years, the western world had become aware of the pandemic of allergic diseases primarily of the respiratory system caused by inhalation allergens.

The so-called “allergy march” is a common name for the progression of childhood allergic diseases building on one another. Currently, one in ten citizens of the Republic of Croatia suffer from respiratory allergies. The spread of ambrosia especially poses a problem, because its pollen, released during its bloom period in July to September, also endangers tourists, and it can discourage visitors of Poreč from choosing this tourist destination. At the same time, data in the City of Poreč City Health Image document indicates that children and adult residents of Poreč are most effected by respiratory diseases, and that they are also the most prevalent health issues of the local population.

The the contents of this environmental health program include screening of ambrosia plants (measuring pollen concentration in the air), organised extermination of weeds and continuous sensitisation, education and informing the population of the achieved project results.

Screening – mapping ambrosia in Poreč and surrounding areas

By systematically touring the terrain (experts and volunteers), GPS recording and describing sites where ambrosia was found, a city-wide map of ambrosia locations is created, and it monitors eventual spreading and creates the basis for the extermination of the plant.

Sites where ambrosia plant was sighted:

  • Funtana – neglected land along the Funtana-Fuškulin road-bike path. Approximately 150 plants on a trapezoidal plot of cca. 2500 m2 Coordinates of the site in Funtana:
    (5391704, 5004481),
    (5391671, 5004481).
  • Sv. Lovreč – canal along the road near the cemetery where 10-ish plants have been identified Coordinates of the site in Sv. Lovreč:
    (5401568, 5004782),
    (5401572, 5004794).
  • Poreč – Žatika (next to the city cemetery): several plants findings on private land.
  • Poreč – Košambra landfill one ambrosia plant was found.

Information, sensitisation and education of the population

With educational leaflets, posters, demonstrations of ragweed plants in the most frequent city areas (Poreč market, pharmacies, Poreč Health Centre,…), lectures (for citizens, students of an agricultural high school, school eco groups, volunteers…), and activation of ecological groups in schools, the City is trying to include its citizens of all ages in the program.

Measurement of pollen concentration in air

Extensive testing is currently in progress as part of a scientific research paper, doctoral dissertation of a high school biology professor in Poreč, which will help determine the concentration of pollen in the air and establish a systematic monitoring system of the pollen.

The impact of pollen on human health

In cooperation with the County Centre for Allergic Testing, a program to introduce routine susceptibility testing to ragweed/ambrosia and olive pollen is underway.


program_ambrozija_04The described program, financed by the City of Poreč, is intended for:

  • landowners (to identify and destroy ambrosia on their property),
  • Other citizen focus groups (hunters, scouts, eco groups…) for protection purposes,
  • allergic persons (adequate and timely protection against the effects of ambrosia pollen),
  • institutions that, on the basis of cartography, can effectively carry out the legal obligations of suppression of ragweed/ambrosia.