Database release:
SDF
NATURA 2000 - STANDARD DATA FORM

For Special Protection Areas (SPA),
Proposed Sites for Community Importance (pSCI),
Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and
for Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. SITE IDENTIFICATION

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1.1 Type

B

1.2 Site code

MT0000001

1.3 Site name

L-Inhawi ta' Ghajn Barrani

1.4 First Compilation date

2004-04

1.5 Update date

2012-09

1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:Environment and Resources Authority
Address:  Biodiversity Unit             
Email:natura.2000@era.org.mt
Date site proposed as SCI:2004-04
Date site confirmed as SCI:2008-03
Date site designated as SAC: No data
National legal reference of SAC designation: No data

2. SITE LOCATION

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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:

Longitude:14.271100
Latitude:36.068900

2.2 Area [ha]

54.5600

2.3 Marine area [%]

0.0000

2.4 Sitelength [km]:

0.00

2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code Region Name
MT00Malta

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Mediterranean (100.00 %)

3. ECOLOGICAL INFORMATION

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3.1 Habitat types present on the site and assessment for them

Annex I Habitat types Site assessment
Code PF NP Cover [ha] Cave [number] Data quality A|B|C|D A|B|C
      RepresentativityRelative SurfaceConservationGlobal
1240  info      1.8469  0.00 
1510  info      22.0916  0.00 
5330  info      1.3326  0.00 
8210  info      2.97  0.00 
92D0  info      1.4021  0.00 
  • PF: for the habitat types that can have a non-priority as well as a priority form (6210, 7130, 9430) enter "X" in the column PF to indicate the priority form.
  • NP: in case that a habitat type no longer exists in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Cover: decimal values can be entered
  • Caves: for habitat types 8310, 8330 (caves) enter the number of caves if estimated surface is not available.
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation)

3.2 Species referred to in Article 4 of Directive 2009/147/EC and listed in Annex II of Directive 92/43/EEC and site evaluation for them

Species Population in the site Site assessment
G Code Scientific Name S NP T Size Unit Cat. D.qual. A|B|C|D A|B|C
      MinMax  Pop.Con.Iso.Glo.
P4084Hyoseris frutescens             
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, I = Invertebrates, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Type: p = permanent, r = reproducing, c = concentration, w = wintering (for plant and non-migratory species use permanent)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the Standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting (see reference portal)
  • Abundance categories (Cat.): C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present - to fill if data are deficient (DD) or in addition to population size information
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation); VP = 'Very poor' (use this category only, if not even a rough estimation of the population size can be made, in this case the fields for population size can remain empty, but the field "Abundance categories" has to be filled in)

3.3 Other important species of flora and fauna (optional)

Species

Population in the site

Motivation

Group CODE Scientific Name S NP Size Unit Cat. Species Annex Other categories
     MinMax C|R|V|PIVVABCD
Allium neapolitanum               
Althaea hirsuta               
Apium nodiflorum               
Atriplex halimus var. gussoneana               
Ceratonia siliqua               
Chalcides ocellatus tiligugu               
Chamaleo chamaleon               
Clematis cirrhosa               
Coluber viridiflavus carbonarius               
Coronilla valentina               
Crataegus azarolus               
Crocidura sicula calypso               
Crocus longiflorus var. melitensis               
Crucianella rupestris               
Cydonia oblonga               
Darniella melitensis               
Desmazeria pignattii               
Equisetum ramosissimum               
Eruca sativa                 
Euphorbia dendroides               
Euphorbia melitensis               
Euphorbia peplis               
Glebionis segetum                 
Hedera helix               
Hibiscus trionum               
Hypecoum procumbens               
Juncus acutus               
Lavatera trimestris               
Malope malacoides               
Matthiola incana subsp. melitensis               
Mespilus germanica               
Muticaria macrostoma               
Neslia apiculata                 
Olea europaea               
Ononis mitissima               
Ononis oligophylla               
Ononis ornithopodioides               
Ophrys speculum               
Orobanche cernua               
Orobanche lavandulacea               
Podarcis filfolensis maltensis               
Podospermum resedifolium               
Prunus cerasifera               
Prunus dulcis               
Prunus spinosa                 
Punica granatum               
Rosa sempervirens               
Sambucus nigra               
Senecio pygmaeus               
Siciliaria septemplicata                 
Stachys ocymastrum               
Tamarix africana               
Telescopus fallax fallax               
Thlaspi perfoliatum               
Thymus capitatus               
Trifolium squamosum               
Trochoidea spratti               
Urginea pancration               
Verbascum creticum               
Vitex agnus-castus               
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, Fu = Fungi, I = Invertebrates, L = Lichens, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • CODE: for Birds, Annex IV and V species the code as provided in the reference portal should be used in addition to the scientific name
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting, (see reference portal)
  • Cat.: Abundance categories: C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present
  • Motivation categories: IV, V: Annex Species (Habitats Directive), A: National Red List data; B: Endemics; C: International Conventions; D: other reasons

4. SITE DESCRIPTION

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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover
N1510.00
N0520.00
N087.00
N065.00
N2314.00
N183.00
N0341.00

Total Habitat Cover

100

Other Site Characteristics

The Ghajn Barrani area, located in N/NE area of Gozo, forms part of the stretch of coastal cliffs on the northern side of Gozo ranging from Marsalforn to the sandy beach of Ramla.The area is characterised by an Upper Coralline Limestone cap or plateau, known as Il-Qortin ta' Ghajn Damma and Tal-Gabdoll, essentially located on a layer of blue clay. The plateau itself, most of which is now grossly degraded due to dumping (one of the official dump sites of the Maltese Islands was close to, but not part of, the site), is surrounded by an escarpment and fallen Coralline Limestone boulders, creating a peculiar landscape, locally known as "rdum", and exposed blue clay, which forms characteristic species-rich clay slopes, locally known as "zriezaq tat-tafal".The valley system of Wied il-Pergla opens into the area. Wied il-Pergla is suspected to be a potential source of nourishment for the offshore sediment banks within the region, the latter being in turn possibly also an important source of sand for the Ramla sand dune system (another Natura 2000 site), located further east in the area.The area is also characterised by a number of springs in the area of Ghajn Barrani and within Wied il-Pergla. This gives rise to watercourses and a relatively humid environment owing to the water-retaining abilities of the abundant exposed blue clay in the area. This provides an important habitat in the Maltese Islands, which, owing to the dearth of water, is in itself overall rare and composed of species with a restricted distribution in the Maltese Islands.Owing to the supply of water, a number of areas are, or have been used for, agricultural purposes. However, agricultural practices on the slopes of the plateau have long been abandoned, and the slopes are now also characterised by a clay slope community.

4.2 Quality and importance

Owing to the springs, the relatively inaccessible parts, and the water-retaining clay in the area, this Natura 2000 site is still in a relatively good condition and supports the best Nerio-Tamaricetea communities of the Maltese Islands. In fact, this community, overall rare in the Maltese Islands, is widespread in the area, and characterised by Vitex agnus-castus and Tamarix africana, both rare and legally protected in the Maltese Islands.The clay slopes are reported to support a wide range of threatened and endemic species, many of which are listed in Section 3.2, including the last known population of the very rare Trifolium squamosum and a population of the otherwise very rare Italo-Maltese endemic Ononis oligophylla. Other rare Maltese biotopes and endemic species known from the area include the very rare Juncus acutus, and a halophytic community based upon Inula crithmoides, the endemic Darniella melitensis and one of the few native stands of the very rare Atriplex halimus, locally known as var. gussoneana (= Atriplex gussoneanum), a variety of uncertain taxonomic status only known from the Maltese islands of Malta and Gozo, and the Pelagian islands of Lampedusa and Lampione.The escarpments and boulder screes of the area are mostly typified by a community based upon a number of chasmophytes, including the rare endemic Hyoseris frutescens, the rare endemic Matthiola incana subsp. melitensis, and the rare Coronilla valentina s.l.; Maltese plants of the latter species show intermediate features between subspecies glauca and valentina. In the area of Tal-Gabdoll, the naturalised Aeonium arboreum becomes dominant, as does Prunus dulcis (= Amygdalus communis), in the area of Il-Milha, where it is found in some of the shaded boulders with sufficient soil.Other important communities in the area include phrygana communities based on Anthyllis hermanniae; tree spurge formations with Euphorbia dendroides; the endemic pre-desert scrub communities based upon Euphorbia melitensis; and labiate garrigues with Thymus capitatus and Teucrium fruticans.Beneath the escarpment in the area of Ghajn Barrani is a secondary maquis copse, based on tall and old Olea europaea, with an array of other economically important species that have become naturalised in the area. The community is based upon Olea europaea, Malus domestica, Prunus cerasifera, Prunus dulcis, Punica granatum and Crataegus cf. azarolus. The copse is impenetrable due to a number of spiny climbers, including Asparagus aphyllus and Smilax aspera. Other trees are reported from the area, including Ceratonia siliqua, Cydonia oblonga, Mespilus germanica, Prunus spinosa and Pyrus sp., all of which indicate that the area was a former orchard, eventually abandoned.The agricultural fields of the area provide old records for various wild agro-species, including Glebionis segetum (= Chrysanthemum segetum), Eruca sativa, Hibiscus trionum, Neslia apiculata and Thlaspi perfoliatum, which are now threatened nation-wide, if not possibly extinct.Ghajn Barrani also provides a recent record of the terrestrial clausilid snail, Sicilaria septemplicata, which to date is only known from a Quaternary fossil from the area of Bahrija (island of Malta). If a living population of this species is confirmed, this would be of biogeographical interest, noting that the species is presently confined to (thence endemic to) Sicily.

4.3 Threats, pressures and activities with impacts on the site

The most important impacts and activities with high effect on the site

Negative Impacts
RankThreats and pressures [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
LA03.03i
HA07b
HA11i
HE03.01o
LF03.01i
MA08b
HE04.01i
HA09b
HI01b
LF03.02.01i
HF03.02.03i
HG01.03b
MG05.01i
HB02.03i
LE01o
MK01.01i
MK03.05i
HG01i
LF03.02.03i
LB01.02i
HE03.03o
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]

Rank: H = high, M = medium, L = low
Pollution: N = Nitrogen input, P = Phosphor/Phosphate input, A = Acid input/acidification,
T = toxic inorganic chemicals, O = toxic organic chemicals, X = Mixed pollutions
i = inside, o = outside, b = both

5. SITE PROTECTION STATUS

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6. SITE MANAGEMENT

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6.1 Body(ies) responsible for the site management:

Organisation:Environment and Resources Authority
Address:
Email:natura.2000@era.org.mt

6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

Yes
No, but in preparation
X
No

 

7. MAP OF THE SITE

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INSPIRE ID:MT0000001
Map delivered as PDF in electronic format (optional)
Yes
No

SITE DISPLAY