A shallow lake, close to the town of Viareggio, 4 km from the Tyrrhenian coast. The lake is surrounded by a belt of reeds Phragmites of variable width and there is a large freshwater marshland (Padule) adjacent to the lake on the north side, consisting of stands of sedge Cladium with scattered pools and canals. The surrounding areas are intensively cultivated. Main land-uses are agriculture, nature conservation and tourism.
An important breeding site for reedbed species, notably Botaurus stellaris (the main breeding site in Italy), and a key staging site for the globally threatened Numenius tenuirostris. Formerly much more important for wintering waterbirds, especially Fulica atra (tens of thousands); decline due especially to hunting and a reduction in the extent of submerged vegetation. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Aythya nyroca (max. 4 birds in winter).
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Massaciuccoli. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/02/2020.