Aldrovanda vesiculosa





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Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Aldrovanda vesiculosa




Aldrovanda generalis E.H.L. Krause; Aldrovanda verticillata Roxb.; Drosera Aldrovanda F. Muell. [Illegitimate]

Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

CR – Critically Endangered, B1ac(i,ii)

Date assessed

November 2019


Talevska, M.


Charni, A.


Matevski, V.

Cvetkoska, C.


Hofman, M.P.G.


Continuous reduction of the water level in Lake Prespa over the years and human impacts (agricultural run-off and solid waste disposal in the lake, together with pollution from domestic waste, water abstraction and effects of fishing) has adversely affected the population of Aldrovanda vesiculosa.
The data pointing out the fluctuation of EOO and AOO. Aldrovanda vesiculosa has very limited distribution along the shoreline of Prespa Lake, it is present in single location.
The population is not connected with the populations in the neighboring country (Albania) and that’s why the national assessment is not depend on regional assessment.
Aldrovnda vesiculosa according to the current European Red List assessment is Data Deficient (DD), according to the global assessment IUCN Red list category and criteria (ver. 3.1) is Endangered B2ab (iii,v) and Mediterranean status is VU D2.


Current population trend



The population of Aldrovanda vesiculosa in the territory of North Macedonia has very limited distribution along the shoreline of Prespa Lake (between Ezerani and Dolno Perovo).

The data from different scientific papers (Micevski, 1969; Talevska et al. 2009, Jovanovska et al. 2017) during the period between 1969 and 2019 pointing out the fluctuation of the population of this species. The only reason is the long term oscillation of the water level.

During the field work investigation for IUCN Red List Assessment, the species was not registered. The reason is the long term water fluctuation of Lake Prespa.

Habitat and Ecology



Habitat and Ecology

Aldrovanda vesiculosa is the sole extant species in the genus Aldrovanda of the family Droseraceae. It is a free-floating, rootless, carnivorous, submersed aquatic vascular plant.

The species grows in lake littoral zones, streams, and wetlands. It prefers clean, shallow, warm standing water with bright light, low nutrient levels and a slightly acidic pH (around 6).

It is floating near water  surface often mixed with helophyte populations (e.g. Phragmites, Typha, Carex spp.) where these plants could play a role in decreasing the energy of water (waves, current) and/or in decreasing the amount of incident light. Growth season extends from early-mid spring into early autumn. The species is spread mainly through the movement of water fowl: plants sticking to the feet of a bird are transported to the next aquatic destination on the bird’s route.

In Lake Prespa, it occurs in areas of shallow water between the lake and the reedbed, mainly along abandoned boat passages among the reeds, formerly used by fishermen, always close to inflows from streams. In these areas, it occurres together with species such as Hydrocharis morsus-ranae and Salvinia natans, as well as Najas marina, Lemna minor, Utricularia australis, Ceratophyllum demersum, Myriophyllum spicatum and Potamogeton perfoliatus. It is most abundant where vegetation remains open, becoming scarce where the plant community becomes closed or dense.

Use and trade

Use and trade

The plant is commonly planted in aquariums and water gardens. It is capable of extremely rapid growth under optimal conditions. 

There is limited trade in this species, mainly in Europe.

No cases are known of use of this species on the territory of North Macedonia (cultivation, and/or trade). 



This plant species is intolerant of habitat degradation primarily due to pollution, and changes of water chemistry.  As the plant’s ecological requirements are very strict, it is very sensitive and is one of the first plants to disappear. This extreme sensitivity is to be expected for a plant at the edge of its distribution.

On the territory of North Macedonia, continuous reduction of the water level in Lake Prespa over the years and human impacts has adversely affected on the state of population of Aldrovanda vesiculosa. It was observed that the species is mainly threatened by agricultural run-off and solid waste disposal in the lake, together with pollution from domestic waste, water abstraction (by pumping) and fishing (in the shallow lake parts and in the reed belt).

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

The natural populations of Aldrovanda vesiculosa are rare in Europe, and it distribution in the Balkan is limited to a few localities.

It is included in Annex 2 of the European Union Habitats Directive (1997), requiring the establishment of designated protected areas, and in Annex 1 of the Bern Convention as a species requiring specific habitat conservation measures.

Although it has been regarded as Critically Endangered throughout most of Europe since 1982 (Threatened Plants Unit 1982), in the current European Red List the species is listed as Data Deficient, while according to the global assessment IUCN Red list it is Endangered B2ab(iii,v).

In Bulgaria, the species has been listed as Critically Endangered and is protected under the Biological Diversity Act (2007).

It is Critically Endangered and strictly protected is in Serbia and Montenegro, under the Preliminary Red List of Flora of Serbia and Montenegro (2011),

Critically Endangered in Romania, and included in the national Red Book habitat directive (2009),  

Critically Endangered and included in the Red Data Book of Russia (1992),

Critically Endangered and included in the Red Data Book of Slovakia (1992),

Critically Endangered and officially protected in the Ukraine (2011), 

Critically Endangered in Poland, and included in the Polish Red Book of Plants (2006), and

included in the Red Data Book of Lithuania under the zero category as an extinct species, pending revision to Critically Endangered species (2003).

In Croatia, the species has already been placed on the Red List of Croatia and according to the IUCN Criteria has regional status – Data Deficient

It is declared as an extinct species of the Czech, German, French and Italian flora

Also, the plant is noted in the management plans for various threatened wetlands throughout Europe. A number of its populations are located within the borders of areas reserved for conservation purposes.

Managed and protected lands for extant populations of the species are in the Srebarna Managed Nature Reserve and the recently Ramsar listed Dragoman Marsh Complex (Bulgaria), the Zasavica Special Nature Reserve (Serbia), and others counties (Poland, Kazakhstan).



Talevska, M., Petrovic, D., Milosevic, D., Talevski, T., Maric, D. and Talevska, A. 2009. Biodiversity of macrophyte vegetation from Lake Prespa, Lake Ohrid and Lake Skadar. .p 931-935.
Jovanovska, D., Mladenova, M., Minova, E., Melovska, N., Melovski Ljupco. 2017. Rediscovery of Aldrovanda vesiculosa L. and new data on its distribution in the Republic of Macedonia. .p 31-40.
Breckpot Ch. 1997. Aldrovanda vesiculosa: Description, Distribution, Ecology and Cultivation. .p 73–82.
Čado, I 1971 Some physiographic and hydrological characteristics of the coastal zones of Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. .p 1-86.
Petkov S. 1910. La flore aquatique et algologique de la Macédoine du Sud-Ouest. Plovdiv. .p 195.
Micevski, B. 2003. Inventory of Macedonian wetlands (as natural resources) . Skopje. .p 72.
Micevski K. 1998. Flora na Republika Makedonija. MANU. Skopje, 1(4): 778-1114. .p 778-1114.
Micevski, K. 1982. Florata i vegetacijata na SR Makedonija i problemot na nivnata zashtita . .p 77-92.
Linn. 1753. .p 223.