Database release:

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



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1.1 Type


1.2 Site code


1.3 Site name


1.4 First Compilation date


1.5 Update date


1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:Environment and Resources Authority
Date site proposed as SCI:2004-04
Date site confirmed as SCI:2008-03
Date site designated as SAC:2016-12
National legal reference of SAC designation:Government Notice No. 1379 of 2016, in accordance with the Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations, 2016 (S.L. 549.44)


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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:


2.2 Area [ha]


2.3 Marine area [%]


2.4 Sitelength [km]:


2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code Region Name

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Mediterranean (100.00 %)


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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.
P4114Linaria pseudolaxiflora    101  250     
M1307Myotis blythii               
M1303Rhinolophus hipposideros       
  • 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)


Population in the site


Group CODE Scientific Name S NP Size Unit Cat. Species Annex Other categories
     MinMax C|R|V|PIVVABCD
  • 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


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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover

Total Habitat Cover


Other Site Characteristics

Ic-Ċittadella (Citadel) consisits mainly of fortifications, and thus it is largely composed of old buildings surrounded by bastions. A small population of Linaria pseudolaxiflora (Annex II - Habitats Directive) is present on the ramparts.

4.2 Quality and importance

Iċ-Ċittadella is located towards the centre of the island of Gozo on a high promontory. It is essentially constructed with local limestone, and thus provides similar habitats as coastal fissures in limestone. Hence, it houses an array of species that are usually found in crevices in rock, or boulder screes in the coastal region. It is also affected by maritime influence, as can be deduced from the flora in the area. These include the endemic Salsola melitensis (=Darniella melitensis) and the Pelago-maltese endemic, Linaria pseudolaxiflora, which occur within the walls and fortifications of Iċ-Ċittadella. Salsola melitensis (=Darniella melitensis) is endemic and protected through national legislation. The shrubs are found on the bastion walls, rock-faces and fortified ramparts and embankments within the walls of Iċ-Ċittadella. Linaria pseudolaxiflora is locally rare with a restricted distribution in the Mediterranean and Maltese Islands (as indicated in the national RDB) and it is a Pelago-Maltese endemic restricted to Malta and Linosa. It is very rare in Malta, but less so in Gozo and apart from its citation in Annex II of the Habitats Directive, it is also protected through national legislation and included in Appendix I of the Bern Convention. Other species include Chamomilla aurea (= Matricaria aurea) which is only known to be found within the walls of Iċ-Ċittadella in the Maltese Islands and known to have a restricted distribution even in the Mediterranean (national RDB). The populations of Malta, Lampedusa and Cyprus seem to belong to a different form from that occurring in the rest of the Mediterranean. It is considered as a species of national interest whose conservation requires designation of protected areas. Antirrhinum siculum, which is a subendemic (a siculo-maltese endemic), is also found in this site. It was originally endemic to Sicily and Malta, but is now also naturalised in many parts of the Mediterranean. With respect to important fauna, Onthophilus globulosus (RDB: Rare; only found at this site) and Trochoidea spratti (RDB: endemic snail; a large population) are found. Podarcis filfolensis maltensis, a Maltese endemic lizard, is also present and is protected through national legislation. Geckoes were also observed at the site, but the species was not identified. Two gecko species are found in Malta: Tarentola mauritanica and Hemidactylus turcicus, and both may be present at the site in question. Bats are also found at the site. It is relevant to note that all Maltese bats are threatened as their roosting places are often removed or disturbed. Rhinolophus hipposideros which is protected through national legislation is found within a man-made tunnel network inside the Citadel outer walls. Single bats use such tunnels during winter months, however, although there was a sharp decline in this species in the mid-1990s the number seems to have stabilised. It is locally threatened due to human disturbance in winter roosts, destruction of feeding habitat and pesticides. Other bat species include Myotis punicus and Tadarida teniotis. These are both protected through national and international legislation. Stains and droppings of the Myotis punicus species have been noted in a number of tunnels but actual bats were not encountered yet. They may be making use of inaccessible tunnels. The original roosting hole of Tadarida teniotis was blocked during restoration of the fortification walls in 1997 and its new roosting site has not as yet been identified. The status of both species locally is vulnerable. Two other bat species that have been heard feeding along the walls of Ċittadella but their roosting sites have not been found yet are Pipistrellus kuhli and Pipistrellus pygmaeus. The former is locally rare (National RDB) while the latter is considered to be a vulnerable species in the Maltese Islands (National RDB). Both are protected through national and international legislation.

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]
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


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6.1 Body(ies) responsible for the site management:

Organisation:Environment and Resources Authority

6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

Yes Name: Iċ-Ċittadella

No, but in preparation



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