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Location Italy, Veneto
Central coordinates 12o 28.00' East  45o 22.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, C6
Area 59,760 ha
Altitude 0 - 1m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli



Site description An extensive brackish coastal lagoon along the eastern coast of the northern Adriatic Sea, between the mouths of the Brenta and Piave rivers. Three large, open water-bodies form the actual lagoon, surrounded by a chain of smaller, closed lagoons (called `valli') of lower salinity. The bottoms of the large water-bodies are covered by eel-grass Zostera and Ruppia. There are tidal mudflats with sea-lettuce Ulva and Enteromorpha, and cord-grass Spartina is locally common. The surrounding areas are largely cultivated intensively (mainly maize). Main land-uses are fish-farming, aquaculture and hunting inside the `valli', and tourism.

Key Biodiversity A very important site for more than 100,000 wintering waterbirds (Fulica atra and Calidris alpina are particularly common), for breeding herons, and for post-breeding terns which collect to roost here in large numbers from all over the eastern Adriatic Sea (especially Sterna albifrons and Chlidonias niger, which form their largest concentrations in Europe here). The maximum total number of wintering waterbirds in January was 74,642 in 1993 and 100,048 in 1994.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  1995  7,269 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  1995  10,256-10,259 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  1994  3-33 individuals  good  A1, C1  Near Threatened 
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula winter  1994  96-295 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis winter  1994  1,833-3,552 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Egretta garzetta breeding  1996  1,008 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, C2, C6  Not Recognised 
Egretta garzetta winter  1994  612-1,522 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Not Recognised 
Ixobrychus minutus breeding  1996  50 breeding pairs  medium  B2, C6  Not Recognised 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax breeding  1995  300 breeding pairs  good  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides breeding  1995  60 breeding pairs  good  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea breeding  1995  215-355 breeding pairs  good  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Great White Egret Ardea alba winter  1995  362 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  1994  1,006-1,197 individuals  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus breeding  1996  10 breeding pairs  medium  B3, C6  Least Concern 
Common Coot Fulica atra winter  1994  28,880-32,957 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus breeding  150 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  1996  60 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  1995  115 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Charadrius alexandrinus breeding  1992  145 breeding pairs  good  B2  Not Recognised 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  1996  459 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  1995  22,310 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus winter  1995  163-4,053 individuals  good  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis resident  1996  200 breeding pairs  good  C2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  1996  800 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1993  128 breeding pairs  good  B2, C2  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons non-breeding  1992  5,000-7,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Black Tern Chlidonias niger non-breeding  1992  6,000-10,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris breeding  1996  100 breeding pairs  poor  B3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1997  55,793 individuals  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high unfavourable negligible
Population
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification marine and freshwater aquaculture - subsistence/artisinal aquaculture happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - large dams happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Pollution excess energy - light pollution past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Wetlands (inland)   59760 55206 93 very poor (< 40%) very unfavourable

Podiceps cristatus Great Crested Grebe 1460 837 individuals 58 unfavourable
Podiceps nigricollis Black-necked Grebe 1991 918 individuals 47 unfavourable
Platalea leucorodia Eurasian Spoonbill 2 2 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Egretta garzetta 974 541 individuals 56 unfavourable
Circus aeruginosus Western Marsh-harrier 96 79 individuals 83 near favourable
Fulica atra Common Coot 30634 23957 individuals 79 near favourable
Thalasseus sandvicensis Sandwich Tern 570 476 breeding pairs 84 near favourable
Sterna hirundo Common Tern 1150 533 breeding pairs 47 unfavourable
Sternula albifrons Little Tern 325 257 breeding pairs 80 near favourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Unknown  negligible 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Barene di S. Giuliano Wildlife Reserve 245 protected area overlaps with site 245  
Boschi di Cà Savio - Punta Sabbioni Wildlife Reserve 233 protected area contained by site 233  
Cà Roman Wildlife Reserve 40 protected area overlaps with site 40  
Casse di Colmata Wildlife Reserve 1,450 protected area contained by site 1,450  
Dune degli Alberoni Wildlife Reserve 115 protected area overlaps with site 115  
Fiume Sile da Treviso Est a San Michele Vecchio - IT3240031 Habitats Directive 753 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Isolotto petrolchimico e Laguna Viva Wildlife Reserve 14,500 protected area overlaps with site 14,500  
Laghetti Decal Wildlife Reserve 45 protected area overlaps with site 45  
Laguna di Venezia - IT3250046 Birds Directive 55,206 protected area contained by site 55,206  
Laguna di Venezia: Valle Averto Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 500 protected area contained by site 500  
Laguna medio-inferiore di Venezia - IT3250030 Habitats Directive 26,384 protected area contained by site 26,384  
Laguna superiore di Venezia - IT3250031 Habitats Directive 20,365 protected area contained by site 20,365  
Le Vignole - La Certosa Wildlife Reserve 90 protected area contained by site 90  
Lido di Venezia: biotopi litoranei - IT3250023 Birds Directive 166 protected area contained by site 166  
Penisola del Cavallino: biotopi litoranei - IT3250003 Birds Directive 315 protected area contained by site 315  
Pineta di Cà Ballarin Wildlife Reserve 158 protected area contained by site 158  
Seca del Bacan Wildlife Reserve 137 protected area overlaps with site 137  
Valle Millecampi State Nature Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Vallesina - Canale Casson Wildlife Reserve 52 protected area contained by site 52  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -
Wetlands (inland) Standing brackish and salt water  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Highly improved re-seeded landscapes; Other urban and industrial areas; Urban parks and gardens  7%
Coastline Lagoons; Mud flats & sand flats; Salt marshes; Tidal rivers & enclosed tidal waters  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 5%
fisheries/aquaculture 30%
hunting 20%
urban/industrial/transport 10%
tourism/recreation 5%
water management 30%
nature conservation and research 5%

Protection status National Partial International LowIBA contains State Nature Reserve (Valle Millecampi, area not known). 245 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Reserve (Barene di S. Giuliano, 245 ha). 233 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Reserve (Boschi di Cà Savio-Punta Sabbioni, 233 ha). 1,450 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Reserve (Casse di Colmata, 1,450 ha). 40 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Reserve (Cà Roman, 40 ha). 115 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Reserve (Dune degli Alberoni, 115 ha). 14,500 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Reserve (Isolotto petrolchimico e Laguna Viva, 14,500 ha). 45 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Reserve (Laghetti Decal, 45 ha). 90 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Reserve (Le Vignole-La Certosa, 90 ha). 158 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Reserve (Pineta di Cà Ballarin, 158 ha). 137 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Reserve (Seca del Bacan, 137 ha). 52 ha of IBA covered by Wildlife Reserve (Vallesina-Canale Casson, 52 ha). 500 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Valle Averto, 500 ha). 200 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Valle Averto, 200 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Venice lagoon. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/12/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife