Brabbia peatland, Lake Varese and Lake Biandronno

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
Palude Brabbia is a fen peatland located at the foot of the pre-Alps, west of the town of Varese. The area includes open water, marsh vegetation (mainly Phragmites and Carex), humid meadows and wet woodlands, and it is fed by the Brabbia Canal which links it to two lakes. One of them is Lago di Varese, a medium-sized freshwater lake surrounded by a fringe of reedbed. The main land-uses are nature conservation in Palude Brabbia, and tourism and hunting in Lago di Varese.

Key biodiversity
An important site for breeding Aythya nyroca, herons (including a mixed heronry of Nycticorax nycticorax and Ardea cinerea) and reedbed passerines, and for foraging raptors. Numbers are based on regular counts during 1987-1996, apart from breeding herons which started to colonize the area in 1993.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
At present the main threats are reedbed-burning, disturbance to birds, and water pollution from domestic and industrial sources. Palude Brabbia is a LIPU reserve and is covered by a management plan.

Protected areas
National Partial International High128 ha of IBA covered by Regional Nature Reserve (Lago di Biandronno, 128 ha). 459 ha of IBA covered by Regional Nature Reserve (Palude Brabbia, 459 ha). 1,889 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Valli del Mincio, Paludi di Ostiglia, Torbiere d'Iseo, 1,889 ha). 459 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Palude Brabbia, 459 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Brabbia peatland, Lake Varese and Lake Biandronno. Downloaded from on 06/10/2022.