A river and its surroundings on the Padana plain, bordering the town of Mantova. The site is rich in freshwater wetland habitat, large reedbeds and areas of open water (Valli del Mincio) close to the river, while agricultural land and broadleaved forests (Bosco Fontana) predominate in the surroundings. Agriculture is the main human activity.
An important site for breeding, migrating and wintering waterbirds. There is a large colony of tree-nesting herons (Garolda) and a colony of Chlidonias niger (Valli del Mincio). There used to be a large number of breeding Milvus migrans (min. 30 pairs), mostly at Bosco Fontana, until the 1980s. Counts for heronries refer to the 1990-1995 period.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threats to the site come from unsustainable use of water resources for agricultural purposes, and from water pollution by agricultural sources (also much more from domestic and industrial sources in the past).
National High International Partial233 ha of IBA covered by State Nature Reserve (Bosco Fontana, 233 ha). 1,081 ha of IBA covered by Regional Nature Reserve (Valli del Mincio, 1,082 ha). 8,000 ha of IBA covered by Regional Nature Park (Mincio, 13,708 ha). 1,889 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Valli del Mincio, Paludi di Ostiglia, Torbiere d'Iseo, 1,889 ha). 1,081 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Valli del Mincio, 1,081 ha).
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: River Mincio and Bosco Fontana. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2020.