Name of Site: Żona fil-Baħar fil-Punent
Site Code: MT0000113
Year of designation: 2016/2018 update
Area [ha]: 46494.23
Annex 1 Protected Habitats:
- 1170 Reefs
- 8330 Submerged or partially submerged sea caves
Annex II protected species:
The site hosts the highest population density of Caretta caretta. A small number of Tursiops truncatus is present in waters around this area,but clearly identifiable areas representing the physical and biological factors essential for their life and reproduction have not yet been found. The information on T. trunctus and C. caretta was gathered throughthe EU LIFE+ MIGRATE project (LIFE11 NAT/MT/1070).Reef assemblages present along escarpments in this area are characterised by a variety of sessile cnidarians and sponges. The most
abundant habitat-forming species included the scleractinian (stony coral) Madrepora oculata, the antipatharian (black coral) Leiopathes glaberrima and the alcyonacean Callogorgia verticillata. The information on caves and reefs was gathered through the LIFEBaĦAR for N2K project (LIFE12NAT/MT/000845).
An extensive area of this site was initially proposed as an SCI in 2016, and confirmed as an SCI in 2017; the site was extended in 2018.