Għawdex marine

Country/territory: Malta

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4ii, B1i, B1ii, B2, B3, C1, C2, C6 (2013)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 55,644 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife Malta

Site description
This area encompasses the waters within the Malta-Gozo Channel, as well as the waters immediately offshore from Ta’ Cenc in Gozo to the west and up to 7 km offshore of Rdumtal-Madonna to the east. Western limit - 35°58'38.40"N, 14°13'56.79"E, (ii) Eastern Limit - 36° 0'45.37"N, 14°27'4.07"E.

Key biodiversity
The ornithological importance of this area is three-fold. The area is an important rafting site for both Puffinus yelkouan and Calonectris diomedea, with concentrations of the former off of Rdumtal-Madonna to the east and the latter off Ta’ Cenc to the west. Secondly, both species also use the channel itself, often in large numbers, particularly in the late afternoon before returning to their breeding colonies. The channel is also important for migratory ducks, forming a bottleneck through which they pass in the thousands during the spring and (to a lesser extent) autumn migrations. During this period they also gather in rafts within the confines of the channel, often remaining for many hours before continuing on their migrations. The ducks include internationally important numbers of the Globally Near-Threatened Aythya nyroca, along with sizeable numbers of Anas querquedula and Anasacuta, both Species of Conservation Concern in Europe.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Għawdex marine. Downloaded from on 29/11/2020.