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

MT0000103

1.3 Site name

Żona fil-Baħar fl-Inħawi tad-Dwejra (Għawdex)

1.4 First Compilation date

2010-08

1.5 Update date

2018-05

1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:Environment and Resources Authority
Address:               
Email:natura.2000@era.org.mt
Date site proposed as SCI:2010-08
Date site confirmed as SCI:2012-11
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:14.186800
Latitude:36.052500

2.2 Area [ha]

228.6000

2.3 Marine area [%]

100.0000

2.4 Sitelength [km]:

0.00

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Marine 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
1120  info      11.1  0.00 
1170  info      26.13  0.00 
8330  info      11.00         
  • 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)

4. SITE DESCRIPTION

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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover
N01100.00

Total Habitat Cover

100

Other Site Characteristics

A multitude of geomorphological features are present in this area, hence forming a complex seabed geomorphology. A series of drop-offs closely associated with rocky shoals and rocky platforms are found along the coast. At the base of cliffs and beneath drop-offs, extensive boulder fields are present. A number of arches, caves and tunnels are also found along the coast of the site.

4.2 Quality and importance

The Dwejra coastal area in Gozo is considered as an area of international scientific importance in view of a complex of features of interest known from here, including geological, geomorphological, ecological, archaeological, historical and aesthetic aspects. Considering Posidonia meadows, there is an extensive, though non-continuous, bed within the area of 'Il-Bajja tad-Dwejra' (Dwejra Bay) where the seagrass strands are dense and healthy. Small patches of the seagrass also occur on bedrock in other parts of the area. The Posidonia oceanica meadows within this site are considered to be isolated since there is little or no continuity with meadows present in other coastal areas due to the prevailing deep water off most of the eastern coast of Gozo (Posidonia does not grow in deep waters). A baseline survey on the extent and character of Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile Meadows in the territorial waters of Malta was carried out in 2002. Following examination of various parameters during this Posidonia Baseline Survey, the meadow and the general environmental conditions have been classified as normal within this site. The classification used was based on Pergent et. al (1995). This data provided a good indication of the distribution of Posidonia meadows, however, quantitative inaccuracies were acknowledged through the MSFD Initial Assessment in 2013. Marine invertebrates associated with the Posidonia oceanica meadows include numerous species of molluscs, polychaetes, crustaceans and echinoderms that seek refuge in the leaf canopy and root-rhizome layers, hence being quite inconspicuous. Additionally, several species of sponges, corals, sea urchins, sea stars, crabs and anemones occur within this site. Of particular note is the existence of small populations of Pinna nobilis, Centrostephanus longispinus and Scyllarides latus, and Epinephelus marginatus which is frequently encountered by divers. Rocky reefs are present throughout the area and may either be reefs that rise vertically from a sandy bottom littered with large boulders to join submarine bedrock platforms or submarine continuations of emergent cliffs. Associations with Flabellia petiolata and Peyssonnelia squamaria cover most reef areas. A total of five fully submerged caves and six semi-submerged caves are present in the area. Several of these caves support very diverse assemblages characteristic of semi-obscure caves, that is those with dim light conditions but not complete darkness. The macrofaunal component of this assemblage type consists of a large number of bryozoans, sponges and serpulid polychaetes. The submerged caves mostly located in the northern half of the site have a very complex physiognomy and a bottom characterised by fine sediment. The largest of these appear to be two caves lying below the shore of Il-Ħofra ta' Birwin and Iż-Żerqa area. The emergent caves, which are distributed throughout the area, also have a very complex physiognomy, both underwater and above sea-level. The bottom inside the emergent caves consists of bedrock, with small boulders, cobbles and pebbles present in some places.

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]
Li
Mb
Lb
Lb
Mb
Lb
Mi
Lb
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:MT.ERA.MT0000103
Map delivered as PDF in electronic format (optional)
Yes
No

SITE DISPLAY