Trappola marshland - Ombrone River mouth

- Italy -

Photo: © Maremma Regional park Agency

Maremma Regional park Agency 2, credit Maremma Regional park Agency
© Maremma Regional park Agency


Trappola marshland – Ombrone River mouth was designated as a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar Site) under the Ramsar Convention on 13-10-2016.

More about the site

The Ramsar area is completely included within the Maremma Regional Park. The site Trappola marshland – Ombrone River mouth (Padule della Trappola – Foce deIl’Ombrone) represents one of the last remnants of a complex of wetlands (partly salty and partly freshwater) and sandy dunes, which constituted the pristine landscape of the Tyrrhenian coast. The landscape includes the mouth of the Ombrone river and coastal wetlands, which are bordered by the Tyrrhenian Sea. The site is a relict example of wetlands with a remarkable naturalistic value. The ground is flat, with a very close elevation to the sea level, varying according to the dunal-interdunal system, generating a mosaic of different habitats, including an alternation of permanently or seasonally flooded/wet areas. It is a semi-natural landscape modified by variations of the coastline and by anthropogenic reclamation operations, like water canalisation, pastoral use, reforestation and tillage. The site also includes a pinewood of anthropogenic origin and is characterised by a sporadic presence of free-ranging cattle (non-intensive). This site has a very important ecological role, because of the presence of relevant and diverse habitats, including rare plant species and a number of animal species (especially birds), many of which have a conservational relevance from international/national/regional points of view.

The site is very important for maintaining the biological diversity of coastal wetlands in the Tyrrhenian coastal area, especially concerning birds. In fact, more than 150 species of birds (mostly waterbirds) are listed as present or migrating to the area and many of them have a great conservation relevance. A plant species whose presence relates to the international importance of the site is the Halocnemum strobilaceum.

Supports a variety of all life forms including plants, animals and microorganisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems of which they form a part. Maintenance of hydrological regimes as storage end delivery of water as part of water supply systems for agriculture and industry. Recreation and tourism with nature observation and nature- based activities. Scientific and educational as important knowledge systems, importance for research (scientific reference area or site) and long-term monitoring site.

Importance of the site from the historical and cultural point of view for the reclamation and water regulation works that took place in historical times.

The park has the following structures and receptive components for the public: info-point, visitor centre, environmental guides, toilets, washrooms and garbage There is also a cycle path and a guesthouse for researchers.

Guided excursions along the park’s itineraries on foot, by bicycle, on horseback or by canoe; photographic competition “the seasons of the park”; birdwatching; environmental teaching activities for schools and educational workshops for children of all ages.

Legal protection, Hydrology management/restoration, Regulation/management of recreational activities, Livestock management/exclusion, Fisheries management/regulation and Harvest controls/poaching enforcement are all implemented.

In the last years, coastal erosion has caused a retreat of the Surveys of ground water have documented the presence of a salt-wedge. In turn, a high impact has been determined on habitats because of the introgression of salty sea water, both direct and through canals. Since 2011, specific actions have been conducted to mitigate coastal erosion and, more recently, actions for the management of the coastal pinewood (affected by the introgression of saltwater) have been put in place.


The Ramsar area is completely included within the Maremma Regional Park and thus benefits from park’s management objectives and activity plan. In addition, the site is included in the EU NATURA 200 Network thanks to its SIC/SIR/ZPS IT51A0039 “Padule della Trappola e Bocca d’Ombrone” (SIR 113 and ZPS A113), for its greater portion, SIC/SIR iTS1A0014 “Pineta Granducale dell’Uccellina” (SIR 114), SIC/SIR lT51A0015 “Dune costiere del Parco deIl’Uccelina” (SIR 115), as well as SIR/ZPS 136 “Pianure del Parco della Maremma”, to a lesser extent and thus under the Regional (international) legal designations pursuant to the provisions of the Habitat Directive 92/43/EEC.

Maremma Regional park Agency 1, credit Maremma Regional park Agency
© Maremma Regional park Agency