A medium-sized freshwater lake (Lago di Mezzola) in a mountain valley in the foothills of the south-central Alps, north of Lago di Como and connected with it by the Mera river. The lake and its associated wetlands are surrounded by cultivated areas. Pian di Spagna is an alluvial flood-plain, lying between the two lakes. The site comprises mainly open water, reedbeds and intensively cultivated land. The main land-uses are nature conservation, agriculture, and fisheries.
A notable area for migrating and wintering waterbirds. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Aythya nyroca (1, winter).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Important threats are posed by the large reedbed fires that happen every year, the lowering of the water-level, and water pollution from domestic, agricultural and industrial sources. The protection of the reserve is not implemented. Field studies are under way to compile a management plan for the reserve. The site is a bird-ringing field station.
National Partial International Partial1,740 ha of IBA covered by Regional Nature Reserve (Lago di Mezzola-Pian di Spagna, 1,740 ha). 1,740 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Lago di Mezzola e Pian di Spagna, 1,740 ha). 1,740 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Pian di Spagna-Lago di Mezzola, 1,740 ha).
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Pian di Spagna and Lake Mezzola. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 19/01/2022.