The area has been recognized at international level under the Ramsar Convention for its valley portion (248 ha), in particular for its exceptional potential for stopping and nesting of many bird species belonging to wetlands. At least 271 species of birdlife have actually been reported throughout the Natura 2000 site. The Cavanata Valley plays the role of refuge area and roost especially for many species of Anatidae and Limicoli, which can be hunted or not. On this site, the naturalistic management and environmental restoration carried out over the years have fostered the presence and nesting of species of community interest such as Sterna (Sterna hirundo), Little tern (Sterna albifrons), Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), Black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus), and Western marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus). The tidal area (Mula di Muggia) represents one of the most important sites in Italy for the wintering of Eurasian wigeon (Anas penelope), Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata), Dunlin (Calidris alpina), Grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola) and Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica). As it concerns mammals and reptiles, the area presents European polecat (Mustela putorius), European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis), Hyla (Hyla intermedia) and Dice snake (Natrix tessellata). As regards the fish fauna, the presence of euryhaline species such as Aphanius fasciatus, Knipowitschia panizzae and Pomatoschistus canestrinii is interesting; these last two are endemic to the Upper Adriatic Sea. On the seabed of the Mula della Muggia bank there is the presence of a dense population of Pinna nobilis and Branchiostoma lanceolatum, typical of sandy bottoms. In the immediate surroundings several cetaceans have been spotted, including Tursiops truncatus, Grampus griseus and Stenella coeruleoalba. The site presents finally a small population of glasswort.