Italy has named Posada River Mouth as a Wetland of International Importance. Situated in the north of Sardinia, this “Ramsar Site” (no. 2452 on the List of Wetlands of International Importance) is a rare example in the Mediterranean of a near-natural river delta.
The Site comprises the final stretch of the Posada River, its alluvial plains, small side streams, oxbows and a sandy coastal lagoon. Typically for a river mouth with a gradient of fresh, brackish and salt water, there are Phragmites australis reedbeds, riparian tamarisk and willow communities and saltwater species such as glassworts (Sarcocornia spp.), seepweeds (Suaeda spp.) and sea purslane (Halimione portulacoides).
The Site’s network of waterways, temporary ponds and continuously shifting dunes provides a variety of breeding and wintering grounds for regionally and nationally protected animals including the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis orbicularis), the common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) and the little bittern (Ixobrychus minutus).
During floods the entire plain can become inundated, mitigating the upstream impact and distributing fertile soils along the alluvial plain. Some sheep and cattle graze within the Site, while orchards and horticultural crops are cultivated at its margins. During the summer months the coastal area is a popular tourist destination.