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Location Italy, Sicilia
Central coordinates 15o 6.00' East  37o 24.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C1, C2, C3, C6
Area 3,399 ha
Altitude 0 - 100m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli

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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca breeding  1997  15-20 breeding pairs  good  A1, C1  Near Threatened 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca passage  1998  280 individuals  good  A1, B1i, C1, C2  Near Threatened 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  1995  67 individuals  good  A1, C1  Near Threatened 
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus passage  1997  200-300 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia passage  1997  100-350 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Ixobrychus minutus breeding  1998  80-100 breeding pairs  medium  B2, C2, C6  Not Recognised 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax breeding  1997  50 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides breeding  1992  10-15 breeding pairs  good  C2, C6  Least Concern 
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea breeding  1997  15-20 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  1996  500-4,000 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Charadrius alexandrinus breeding  1997  13-18 breeding pairs  good  B2  Not Recognised 
Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris passage  1997  1 individuals  good  A1, C1  Critically Endangered 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis passage  1997  100 individuals  good  C2  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1997  50 breeding pairs  good  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Black Tern Chlidonias niger passage  1997  700 individuals  good  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola passage  1997  2-3 individuals  good  A1, C1  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1996  20,000 individuals  good  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Biviere di Lentini, tratto mediano e foce del Fiume Simeto e area antistante la foce - ITA070029 Birds Directive 4,966 protected area overlaps with site 3,116  
Foce del Fiume Simeto e Lago Gornalunga - ITA070001 Habitats Directive 1,735 protected area overlaps with site 1,094  
Riserva naturale Oasi del Simeto Regional/Provincial Nature Reserve 1,859 protected area overlaps with site 400  
Tratto di Pietralunga del Fiume Simeto - ITA070025 Habitats Directive 675 protected area overlaps with site 171  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  -
Coastline Lagoons; Salt marshes; Sand dunes & beaches  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting 7%
water management 67%
nature conservation and research 26%

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Simeto mouth and middle course and Biviere di Lentini. Downloaded from on 02/10/2014

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