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The Image I/O-Ext project leverages existing native APIs to extend the set of formats that the JAI ImageIO API can read. At the moment, the project is building on top of GDAL java bindings and ImageMagick java bindings, and hopefully the list will grow in the future. The project is compatible with GeoTools both from the license point of view (LGPL) and the API point of view, since most of the current coverage readers are leveraging ImageIO already.
At the moment Image I/O-Ext does not support all the formats GDAL provides, but adding a new format is usually a matter of few hours of work (for a complete list see of the currently supported formats see Image I/O-Ext's GDAL Supported formats).
Actual stable GeoTools version of leverages on Image I/O-Ext is 1.0.8. GeoTools 8.x will be updated to leverage on the latest Image I/O-Ext 1.1.0.

Libraries and native bindings