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

L-Inħawi tal-Buskett u tal-Girgenti

1.4 First Compilation date


1.5 Update date


1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:Environment and Resources Authority

1.7 Site indication and designation / classification dates

Date site classified as SPA:2004-04
National legal reference of SPA designationGovernment Notice No. 112 of 2007, in accordance with the Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations, 2016 (S.L. 549.44)
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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3.1 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
3170  info      0.05  0.00 
5230  info      4.76  0.00 
5330  info      4.6  0.00 
8310  info      0.00 
92A0  info      2.92  0.00 
9320  info      3.66  0.00 
9340  info      0.76  0.00 
9540  info      16.72  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.
BA086Accipiter nisus       
BA294Acrocephalus paludicola       
BA089Aquila pomarina       
BA288Cettia cetti       
BA081Circus aeruginosus       
BA289Cisticola juncidis       
BA122Crex crex             
R1293Elaphe situla       
P4092Elatine gussonei       
BA101Falco biarmicus             
BA100Falco eleonorae       
BA095Falco naumanni       
BA099Falco subbuteo       
BA096Falco tinnunculus       
BA359Fringilla coelebs       
BA359Fringilla coelebs       
BA251Hirundo rustica       
BA341Lanius senator       
BA271Luscinia megarhynchos       
BA319Muscicapa striata       
M1307Myotis blythii       
I4051Myrmecophilus baronii       
BA072Pernis apivorus       
P1395Petalophyllum ralfsii       
M1303Rhinolophus hipposideros    60     
BA361Serinus serinus       
BA361Serinus serinus       
BA305Sylvia melanocephala       
  • 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

Buskett, located in the western-southwestern coast of Malta, is one of the few wooded areas of the Maltese Islands. The area is rich in biodiversity and has been declared as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International, particularly due to its international importance for raptor migration. The site also houses a number of biotopes and species listed in the respective Annexes of the EU Wild Birds and Habitats Directive. Buskett is also a popular recreational destination, particularly during the winter season for Maltese and tourists alike.

4.2 Quality and importance

The Buskett/Girgenti Natura 2000 site is a large valley system which supports several habitat types at the following locations. The woodland itself and nearby open spaces are also important as a concentration point for birds of prey, many of which are of international importance. In fact the site is declared as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. Buskett is very important for woodland and wood-associating species as well as for those of leaf-litter and for cryptofauna in general. These include a number of insects, woodlice and spiders that are only known from Buskett or two/three other places in the Maltese Islands. Ġnien il-Kbir/Ġnien iż-Żghir is characterised by a riparian vegetation characteristic of Salix alba and Populus alba galleries. Trees inclede Salix alba, with this areabeing the only extant native station from where this tree is known, Salix pedicellata, Populus alba and Ulmus canescens. Isolated remnants of Quercus ilex also cover some expanses of land. The Buskett area, which includesIl-Ġonna tal-Buskett and Il-Palazz ta' Verdala, is a semi- natural woodland based on Pinus halepensis and Ceratonia siliqua trees; which are characteristic of two habitat types: Medterranean pine forests with endemc Mesogean pines and Olea and Ceratonia forests. It is important for many wood-associated species, including invertebrates such as snails and indigenous beetles; and mycoflora, such as Boletopsis grisea and Sacrosphaera coronaria. In fact, some fungi species are only known from here or 2-3 other sites in the Maltese Islands. Other flora are also found within this area. These include undergrowth species such as Ruscus hypophyllum, which is very rare; Rhamnus alaternus; Iris foetidissima, which is only recorded from this locality); Scilla clusii which is possibly endemic; Kundmannia sicula; and various other orchids. At Wied il-Luq, one can find one of the most important features at this Natura 2000 site. This is the native Populetum albae riparian woodland consisting of Populus alba; Fraxinus angustifolia, which is only known from this site; as well as Ulmus minor and Quercus robur. The watercourse is important for many species such as Carex divulsa, Calystegia x lucana, Physa acuta and Discoglossus pictus. This area is also important for lepidoptera and flatworms. The Bosk area is a Quercus ilex forest remnant, and also supports an arborescent mattoral with Laurus nobilis. Other species include Rhamnus alaternus, Pistacia spp. and Crataegus spp. A permanent freshwater spring occurs at Għajn il-Kbira (Girgenti). Due to the limited cover of this habitat type in the Maltese Islands, the species associated with this habitat type are very rare and threatened. These include Vicia bithynica, Potamogeton pectinatus and Ruscus hypophyllum, which are known to occur only at Għajn il-Kbira. Moreover, the Freshwater mussel Pisidium casertarum occurs in only 2-3 localities in the Maltese Islands, with Għajn il-Kbira is one of these sites. Caves also occur within this area. L-Għar ta' l-Inkwiżitur, for example, contains a number of endemic species. It is also an important roosting site for Rhinolophus hipposideros, an Annex II species, Myotis punicus and Plecotus austriacus. The cave at Girgenti is a very important site for bats and also for cave-dwelling invertebrates, which are often endemics and known only from this cave. The area found at Ix-Xagħra ta' Laroka, Ta' Żuta and the Girgenti areas consist of mixed garrigue characterised by Thymbra capitata, Anthyllis hermanniae, Rhamnus oleiodes, Erica multiflora, Teucrium fruticans, Teucrium flavum, Lonicera implexa and Asparagus aphyllus. Other species include orchids, mostly Ophrys species. This is the only site for the critically endangered Salvia fruticosa. In the most exposed areas, the karstland exhibits a rocky steppe aspect and is dominated by Asphodelus aestivus and Hyparrhenia hirta. These areas are also rich in shrubs such as Pistacia lentiscus, Ceratonia siliqua, Prunus spp., Punica granatum and Crataegus spp. Disturbance is however intense in some areas and components of a disturbed steppic assemblage such as Foeniculum vulgaris, Ferula communis and Glebonis coronaria are found. The site also harbours an afforested recreational area in which various threatened species have been planted including Tetraclinis articulata, Chaemaerops humilis and Pistacia terebinthus. The dominant trees here are Olea europaea and Pinus halepensis. A considerable part of this Natura 2000 site, in particular the periphery, consists of agricultural land which is still in use. Fruit trees, in particular stone fruit and citrus trees, are the most common. In some areas, though agriculture is not intensive and land is dry farmed, threatened agro-species have been reported from this area. The status of these species, however, requires verification since no surveys were carried out in this respect. For example, the very rare Adonis microcarpa, the rare Glebionis segetum, Agrostemma githago and Hibiscus trionum have not been recently reported from the Maltese Islands. The agricultural land is also important for rubble walls which, apart from their agricultural and cultural value, are also an important habitat for reptiles, small mammals and other plants. Other important species include: Petalophyllum ralfsii, a bryophyte with a restricted distribution in the Mediterranean, and found at a few localities across the Maltese Islands; Myrmecophilus baronii, a flightless Pelago-Maltese cricket, which is listed as very rare with a restricted distrubution in the Maltese Islands, with its record from Buskett being one of the two known localities; the vulnerable and restrictedly distributed Myotis punicus which is known to roost and breed in the nearby caves and thus utilises Buskett as a feeding ground; and Monticola solitaries, which breeds on the escarpments surrouding Buskett, and uses the area as its the main feeding ground.

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: L-Inħawi tal-Buskett u tal-Girgenti

No, but in preparation



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