Zona fil-Bahar fl-Inhawi ta’ Ghar Lapsi u ta’ Filfla

Name of Site:  Zona fil-Bahar fl-Inhawi ta’ Ghar Lapsi u ta’ Filfla 

Year of Natura 2000 designation: 2012 

Area [ha]: 2450.51 

Annex 1 Protected Habitats:

  • 1120 Posidonia beds (Posidonion oceanicae)
  • 1170 Reefs 

Annex II protected species:

Cystoseira spinosa

 

Importance:

The islet itself is a strict nature reserve and a Natura 2000 site (MT0000016), whereas both the islet and its surrounding marine area are considered as an Important Bird Area (IBA) of EU Importance by BirdLife Malta. (The islet of Filfla is also considered a Global Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.) Despite the fact that most of the marine species recorded on site are common around the rest of the Maltese Islands, the site’s location, the relatively high species richness and the relatively unpolluted waters of the site justify its protection. Indeed, this site hosts a rich and diverse biota, reflecting a heterogenous bottom. Considering the Posidonia beds, from a survey carried out in 2002, it was discovered that in the Ghar Lapsi area, the Posidonia meadow’s rhizome primary production values are amongst the higher values for the Mediterranean Sea. Furthermore, the general environmental conditions of the site were classified as normal and higher abnormal. Cymodocea and Posidonia are relatively common along the coast of the island of Malta. The reefs that exist to the south of the island of Malta are in a very good status. Associations with Cystoseira, Flabellia and Peyssonnelia are relatively abundant in the area very close to Filfla.