Background

Maltese hunters and trappers conserve habitats of migratory species in Natura 2000 site

About the site:

The valley systems of Wied Xlendi and Wied tal-Kantra area which is found on Malta’s sister island of Gozo in a Natura 2000 site of 296.30 ha, is one of the largest Natura 2000 areas in the Maltese Islands.

Including cultivated agricultural land, rock escarpments and sea-cliffs, the diversity of habitats attract a large and diverse avifauna while serving as a staging post for a number of migratory birds.

Various species that are associated with this freshwater habitat are found in the valley bed, and these are very rare and/or endemic and/or found only in a few other localities or are restricted to Wied ix- Xlendi valley system.  The rare indigenous Maltese freshwater crab is present in this valley. 

While providing suitable habitat for garrigue species, these areas also contain Mediterranean temporary ponds (Annex I “Habitats” Directive priority habitat) being an important habitat for plant species. Endemic plants such as the national plant, the Maltese rock-centaury, the Maltese hyoseris and the Maltese cliff orache are found on the sea-cliff faces of the area. Other plants that also occur in the area include the Maltese salt tree, the Maltese sea-lavender, clustered sulla and other species.

The area is also characterised by traditional rubble/dry stone-walls, constructed to retain soil.

Contribution of local hunters and trappers:

An important proportion of the site is devoted to agricultural activities; Management plans and action plans for Natura 2000 sites have been developed for various species/habitat types.

In the whole area, hunters and trappers own or lease areas where they hunt and capture huntable bird species. Over the years, in order to attract the huntable species, but also in contribution towards the upkeep and biodiversity in the areas, the hunters and the trappers, members of the Federation for Hunting & Conservation – Malta (FKNK) have:

· cleaned the areas of debris and other items and pruned trees as and when necessary;

· planted new trees and provided the necessary supply of water so lacking in the Maltese islands, so that these trees can flourish;

· used personal finances in order to carry out these contributions and maintain the relative habitats.


Several actions allowed this contribution to be successful:

·Dialogue and Partnership between all local stakeholders regarding the management of a site to achieve common objectives;

·Communication of these management measures to the public at large and exchange of good practices between local stakeholders;

·Information for local stakeholders to provide better understanding of the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities a site implies;

·Recognition of the contribution of each stakeholder in the management and preservation of sites.

 

For more Information

Lino Farrugia – Chief Executive Officer of Federazzjoni Kaċċaturi Nassaba Konservazzjonisti

Tel.: +356 214 40 018

Email: ceo@huntinginmalta.org.mt

Publication

“Natura 2000: an opportunity for biodiversity and hunting in Europe” Ed. 2006

Prepared on behalf of FACE by: Dr Yves LECOCQ - Mr Gilles DUPERRON -Ms Hélène SOYER

“Natura 2000 & Sustainable Hunting in Europe” 2006, FACE