Simeto mouth and middle course and Biviere di Lentini

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
A complex of wetlands along the south-east coast of Sicily, around the town of Catania, and including the following sites: Biviere di Lentini, a freshwater reservoir; Foce del Simeto, a river-mouth; Traversa di Ponte Barca, a stretch of the Simeto river. There are large reedbeds at Biviere di Lentini. The main land-uses are water-resource management at Biviere di Lentini (for domestic water-supply), and nature conservation at Foce del Simeto. The surrounding areas are largely agricultural.

Key biodiversity
A very important site for waterbirds while breeding (especially Aythya nyroca and herons), migrating (e.g. Plegadis falcinellus, Platalea leucorodia) and wintering. The site holds more than 20,000 waterbirds on a regular basis, with Larus ridibundus especially common in winter.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Water management at Biviere di Lentini is the main threat (`Other' threat). The aqueduct for filling the reservoir has never been built, but its completion remains a possibility, and would destroy the wetland complex at this site. Some or all of the site is covered by a management plan.

Protected areas
National Partial International Unknown400 ha of IBA covered by Regional Nature Reserve (Oasi del Simeto, 1,859 ha). Overlaps with SPA.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Simeto mouth and middle course and Biviere di Lentini. Downloaded from on 27/01/2023.