The Pian di Spagna is located along the migration path of the Splugen Pass, one of the shortest crossing points of the Alps. It was established by the Lombardy Region in 1983 in application of the directives contained in the Ramsar Convention (IRAN, 1971). It is the crossroads for important migration routes and it provides shelter, during the winter period, for various kinds of birds, that normally live in humid areas. Therefore, any change to the habitat of the Pian di Spagna, would not only mean losing something that is precious to the local environment but also depriving migratory birds of a very important stopping area with numerous consequences for the ecosystem, going far beyond national borders.
Humid areas are of vital importance for the survival of many animal and vegetable species, especially for the life of many birds, as they represent stopping places along their migratory routes. Faced with the diffusion of anthropized zones, the humid areas of the European continent were gradually disappearing, so much so that south of the Alps the Bolle di Magadino, in the Ticino Canton, the Peat Bogs of Iseo Lake, the Brianza Lakes and the Pian di Spagna are the only important ones that currently survive.
Ashen Heron (Ardea cinereal Linnaeus) – Rallidae Family – Water hen (Gallinula chloropus) – Coot (Fulica atra)
Great crosted grebe (Podipeps cristatus) – Little grebe (Tachibaptus ruficollis)
Mute swam (Cignus olor) – Ducks – Diver duck: Diver “ducks” feed by diving completely and going deep into water. While swimming, they keep their tails on the water’s surface. To fly they run on the water using their claws and cover long distances.
Pochard (Aythya ferina) – Tufted duck ( Aythya fuligula) – Surface duck: The surface ducks feed in shallow waters by immersing their head and keeping their body on the surface or lifting their rear to push themselves deeper and deeper. They fly without making any runs-up. Therefore you can find them also in canals and small stretches of water or along lakeshores or banks of ponds.
Mallards (Anas platyrrhincos) – Teal (Anas crecca) – Garganey (Anas querquedula)
Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Marsh Reed (Phragmites australis) – Sedge (Carex caespitosa) – Water lily (Ninphaèa alba) – Yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus) – Water chestnut (Trapa natans) – Yellow water-lily (Nuphar luthea).
(from the brochure of the Nature Reserve Pian di Spagna-Lake Mezzola)