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Biviere di Lentini, tratto mediano e foce del Fiume Simeto e area antistante la foce

The site, along the east coast of Sicily in the province of Catania, is of great naturalistic interest. It includes coastal dune systems, inland wetlands, watercourses, and volcanic origin lakes. The vegetation is characterized by amphibious communities along watercourses, perennial halophilic and saltmarsh communities. In the riverbanks, there are riparian willow thickets and thermophilic formations with tamarisks. In the lacustrine and watercourse areas, rich communities of rooted hydrophytes are observed. The marine area in front of the mouth of the Simeto River is characterized by a sandy-muddy substrate and it hosts clusters of Cymodocea nodosa. The site is important for the nesting of Anatidae and Ardeidae, including the ferruginous duck and the western swamphen. However, the situation in the Lentini Lake has deteriorated over time due to rising water levels, which has reduced the presence of many waterbird species. Nevertheless, there are specialized vegetation aspects and some exclusive habitats in this area. The wetlands attract both resident and migratory bird species, while benthic populations contribute minimally even if the terrestrial environments are highly interesting.