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

MT0000014

1.3 Site name

Il-Ballut ta' Marsaxlokk

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:14.551100
Latitude:35.840600

2.2 Area [ha]

23.3000

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
1310  info      0.00 
1410  info      0.03728  0.00 
1420  info      0.71298  0.00 
92D0  info      0.18174  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.
  • 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
Aphaniosoma grisescens               
Aphaniosoma proximum               
Armadilloniscus littoralis               
Atriplex portulacoides               
Auriculinella bidentata               
Bembidion normannum mediterraneum               
Brachygluta globulicollis aubei               
Brachygluta simplex hipponensis               
Carex extensa               
Clitobius ovatus               
Colposcenia aliena               
Colymbetes fuscus               
Cyclodinus constrictus               
Cyclodinus minutus               
Daphnia pulex               
Denops albofasciatus               
Dichirotrichus obsoletus               
Discoglossus pictus pictus               
Garypus beauvoisi               
Gonocephalum rusticum               
Hydrobia acuta               
Ischnura genei               
Juncus maritimus               
Labidura riparia               
Limonium virgatum               
Matthiola tricuspidata               
Meloe proscarabaeus               
Nemotelus brachystomus               
Orobanche muteli f. melitensis               
Otiorhynchus schembrii               
Ovatella myosotis               
Paludinella littorina               
Phaleria bimaculata               
Phtora crenata               
Potamonectes cerisyi               
Ruppia maritima               
Sporobolus pungens                 
Sratiomys longicornis               
Stenophiloscia zosterae               
Stenosis melitana               
Sympetrum fonscolombii               
Tachys dimidiatus               
Tamarix africana               
Tararogryllus burdigalensis               
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
N1595.00
N034.00
N021.00

Total Habitat Cover

100

Other Site Characteristics

Il-Ballut ta' Marsaxlokk was originally a series of fishponds which were dredged to make way for a quay in the 1950s. It eventually developed into a marshland owing to the presence of a seasonal watercourse bringing fresh water into the marsh. It is now one of the few remaining salt marshes in the Maltese Islands. This site is also important since plant communities here show a remarkable difference to those found in the northern part of the island, suggesting a restricted distribution of the biota found at Il-Ballut.

4.2 Quality and importance

The Il-Ballut marshland represents one of the best Juncetalia maritimi community of the Maltese Islands. A series of pools with brackish water are also found within the area. Although these qualify as 1150 biotope code, they are not mapped due to their small size which varies according to precipitation. The vegetation in these pools is limited mostly to algal growth and partly submerged plants such as Juncus maritimus. Regenerating Tamarisk africana and Phragmites australis are found growing along the banks. A number of species with a restricted distribution in the Maltese Islands are known from the area, including the endangered Carex extensa and the small Atriplex portulacoides (= Halimione portulacoides). The latter was introduced in the area as a rescue measure. The saltmarsh is surrounded by an embankment consisting of material excavated during the construction of the Power Station some metres away from the marsh. The planted and regenerating Tamarisk africana trees together with Atriplex halimus stablise the embankment. Part of the embankment is also colonised by Phragmites australis intermixed with Tamarisk africana. Brachygluta globulicolis aubei and Brachygluta simplex hipponensis are both listed as critically endangered in the Red Data Book. These beetles have a restricted distribution in the Maltese Islands and are associated with roots of halophytic plants in salt marshes. The endangered Hydrobia acuta is a brackish water mollusc confined to saline marshlands. The population found at Il-Ballut is the largest recorded population in the Maltese Islands. It is also Red Data Book listed.Paludinella cf. littorina is a brackish water mollusc which may be easily overlooked due to its small size and cryptic habit. It has a restricted distribution in the Maltese Islands. Il-Ballut is also the only reported locality for Nemotelus brachystomus which is very rare and highly restricted in distribution. Armadilloniscus littoralis is found under stones and under organic remains on sand in the area, which represents its only extant locality in the Maltese Islands. The protected, Siculo-Maltese endemic Stenosis melitana is also found under stones in the area. Very little is known about Aphaniosoma grisescens which is confined to coastal waters and saline marshlands. It is very rare and vulnerable in the Maltese Islands and is only reported from Il-Ballut. The Il-Ballut marsh is also very important for a number of invertebrates associated with saline marshlands, including beetles and gastropods, some of which have a restricted distribution in the Maltese Islands. The beetle Brachygluta simplex hipponensis is one such example. This beetle is recorded only from Il-Ballut and two other localities in the Maltese Islands. The marsh backs a small sandy beach, formerly colonised by an embryo dune community based on Cakile maritima and Matthiola tricuspidata. This beach is now eroding following some engineering works in connection with the construction of a breakwater. The marshland is connected to the sea by means of culverts. The contiguous marine area (although not part of this Natura 2000 site) is unique in that it houses an assemblage based on Caulerpa prolifera, common in this region but absent from other marine sites in the Maltese Islands, and the Lessepsian sea grass Halophila stipulacea. Caulerpa racemosa has been recorded and is invading the area. Note on section: Ecological Information - Habitats The areas covered by 1310 - Salicornia and other annuals colonising mud and sand and 1420 - Mediterranean and thermo-Atlantic halophilous scrubs coincide with each other and hence the % cover under 1310 has been left blank.

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]
ME03.02i
HH07b
ME01o
LB01.02o
ME02b
LA07i
MA09o
MK02.03i
HK01.01b
MG05.04i
HJ02.05.01o
ME03.03i
MK01.02i
HA05.01b
LA07i
MJ02.04i
MG05.01i
LA09b
LH06.01o
MI01i
LF03.01o
ME01.02o
MK01.02i
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
MJ02i
HJ02.01.02o
MK02.02i
MK01.03i

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:MT0000014
Map delivered as PDF in electronic format (optional)
Yes
No

SITE DISPLAY