Text by Glauco Vicario.
With regard to fish life, there are both fish that spend their entire life cycle inside the lagoon, such as Mediterranean killifish (Aphanius fasciatus) and smelt (Atherina beceri), and “migratory” species that only visit the lagoon periodically, such as plaice (Plathylchtis flesus), bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and various species of grey mullet. In fact, these fish are driven by favourable environmental conditions (e.g. temperature, salinity) and the significant availability of food and have started to take on migratory behaviour, mainly twice a year: at the beginning of the spring, when the youngsters and adults enter the lagoon and then during the autumn, when they leave and return to the sea to find more stable environmental conditions.
Out of the many “guest” species that inhabit the lagoon, the most common, striking and admired are undoubtedly the birds. Most birds here are aquatic species or are in some way linked to water. Marano lagoon’s bird life includes over 300 species of resident birds, nesting birds, wintering birds, migratory birds and accidental birds. Swans, geese, herons, birds of prey, rails, shorebirds, seagulls and many passerines inhabit and bring life and colour to this incredible and unique marshy ecosystem.