, Volume 795, Issue 1, pp 1–22 | Cite as

Non-native fish species in Hungarian waters: historical overview, potential sources and recent trends in their distribution

  • Péter TakácsEmail author
  • István Czeglédi
  • Árpád Ferincz
  • Péter Sály
  • András Specziár
  • Zoltán Vitál
  • András Weiperth
  • Tibor Erős
Review Paper


Due to its central position in the Danube basin and its considerable fishery sector, Hungary plays a key role in the spread of non-native fish species in Europe. Nevertheless, the status of non-native fish has not yet been reviewed for Hungary. Therefore, our aims were (1) to give a comprehensive historical overview regarding the occurrence of non-native fish species of Hungary, (2) to show their recent distribution patterns using GIS, and (3) to evaluate the importance of the possible drivers in their spread. Literature data show 59 non-native fish species from Hungary. The appearance of new species—mostly due to aquarium fish releases—shows an accelerating trend nowadays. Although non-native fish have appeared at 78.7% of the studied 767 sites during our recent countrywide survey, their distribution was uneven. Lowland streams, lowland rivers, and the River Danube were the most affected by non-native fish, particularly the gibel carp, topmouth gudgeon and pumpkinseed escaped from fish/angling ponds, and the recent invasion of Ponto-Caspian gobies. Our results indicated that in order to reduce the effects and intensity of further invasions, more rigorous control of aquarium trade, angling pond stockings, and inter-watershed fish transports are necessary.


Invasion Invasive species Fisheries Aquarium trade Ecological risks Carpathian basin 



Fish faunistic surveys were made within the frame of the following projects: OTKA CNK80140, OTKA K104279, OTKA PD115801 and a KEHOP2015 project of the General Directorate of Water Management. We would like to express our thanks to colleagues at the General Directorate of Water Management, but Gy. I. Tóth and T.A. Zagyva for their help in several phases of the work. Data analysis was supported by the GINOP 2.3.2-15-2016-00004 project. Árpád Ferincz was supported by the Bolyai Fellowship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 20 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 24 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Péter Takács
    • 1
    Email author
  • István Czeglédi
    • 1
  • Árpád Ferincz
    • 2
  • Péter Sály
    • 1
    • 3
  • András Specziár
    • 1
  • Zoltán Vitál
    • 1
  • András Weiperth
    • 4
  • Tibor Erős
    • 1
  1. 1.Balaton Limnological InstituteMTA Centre for Ecological ResearchTihanyHungary
  2. 2.Department of AquacultureSzent István UniversityGödöllőHungary
  3. 3.Department of HydrobiologyUniversity of PécsPécsHungary
  4. 4.Danube Research InstituteMTA Centre for Ecological ResearchBudapestHungary

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