Italy has declared Trapani and Paceco Salt Ponds as a Wetland of International Importance, its 56th.
The Site in western Sicily (Ramsar Site no. 2329) is one of the most important wetlands for millions of birds crossing the 140-kilometre-wide Strait of Sicily during their migration to and from Africa. Some 224 bird species have been recorded at the Site, with many of them threatened and protected including the endangered saker Falcon Falco cherrug and Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus.
The Site is of great importance as a resting and feeding ground, and the number of breeding species has increased since the establishment of the Natural Reserve in 1995. The biodiversity of the area has benefited from the ancient traditional production of sea salt, as demonstrated by the high numbers of bird and plant species – some rare or unique – as well as insects and amphibians.
The Site’s ancient mills and unique landscape, which bear witness to the historical salt production, have remained intact despite the threats of urbanization and industrialization.