GOZ024 - L-Ghadira ta' San Raflu


Ghadira ta’ San Raflu is a natural freshwater pond, located in western Gozo, within San Lawrenz. The pond covers an area of approximately 1,170m2. The pond is accessible to the public by a surfaced road and is a well-known tourist destination. The pond is predominantly surrounded by agricultural land, however, the pond is not used for irrigation due to its cultural importance. Within the basin of the pond, Tamarix sp., Galactites tomentosa, Geranium mole and Calendula sicula (which is only found in San Raflu and Xlendi) were present. Both the Maltese native frog, Discoglossus pictus and the alien frog species, Pelophylax bedriagae were recorded on site. The latter was introduced in the 1990s and has since then established a permanent population within the pond. Other species present within the pond include, goldfish, ducks, terrapins and freshwater fish (such as Gambusia holbrooki), all of which have been introduced. The freshwater wetland is designated as an Area of Ecological Importance and a Site of Scientific Importance Protected Area (G.N. 288/95) and as a Special Area of Conservation – National Importance (G.N. 683/18).

Wetland data

Basic information
Wetland location: Inland
Wetland type: Artificial
Wetland area: 0.10 Ha
Hydrological interaction: -  
Water salinity: Fresh (< 0.5 g/l)
Type of fresh water input: Catchment area (precipitation)
Surface water runoff Outflow controlled by pipeline
Open water area (%): 76 - 95
Hydroperiod: Permanent
Geographic information
Census district: Gozo and Comino
Island: Gozo
Local council: Ta' Kercem
Longitude: 14.199030 East
Latitude: 36.036640 North
Biological significance
Biological significance: Low
Ramsar wetland type
Type Coverage (%)
7 -- Excavations; gravel/brick/clay pits; borrow pits, mining pools
Property status
Protection statuses
Protection status category Protection status subcategory Area's name Code Coverage area (%) Legislation
National Area of Ecological Importance/Site of Scientific Importance Ghadajjar ta' l-ilma helu fl-Ghadira ta' Sarraflu (l/ta' Kercem, Ghawdex) 14822 100 Development Planning Act (Act VII of 2016)
National Special Areas of Conservation - National Importance L-Ghadira ta' Sarraflu (l/tal-Kercem) 330742 100 Environment Protection Act (Act I of 2016)
International Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas Xlendi Bay to Wardija Point Cliffs MT010 100
International Pools Ghadira a' Sarraflu MT SW 02 100 Water Framework Directive
CDDA protection status
CDDA code CDDA category
MT02 Area of Ecological Importance/Site of Scientific Importance
MT10 Special Areas of Conservation - National Importance
Important bird areas
IBA code Site name Coverage (%) References
MT010 Xlendi Bay to Wardija Point Cliffs 100
Ecosystem services
Type of ecosystem service Ecosystem service Scale of Βenefit (%) Importance
Regulatory services Flood hazard regulation
Provisioning services Food
Provisioning services Fresh water
Cultural services Recreation and tourism
Regulatory services Storm hazard regulation
Regulatory services Water regulation
Activities on wetland
Activity Intensity
020 = Resource conservation High
130 = Irrigation High
701 = water pollution High
790 = Other pollution/human impacts/activities Low
910 = Silting up Low
Activities on catchment area
Activity Intensity
100 = Cultivation High
110 = Use of pesticides High
120 = Fertilisation High
130 = Irrigation High
230 = Hunting High
301 = quarries High
502 = roads motorways Medium
701 = water pollution High
790 = Other pollution/human impacts/activities Low
Impact Intensity
EB- = Increase in aesthetic qualities High
ED- = Increase in sediment removal/retention High
EE- = Increase of economic potential High
ES- = Increase in water supply Low
EU- = Increase of tourist/recreation potential Low
FB- = Disruption of natural balance/interaction between faunal species
PF- = Fertilizer/Excess nutrient pollution
PP- = Pesticide pollution
Vegetation types
Type Coverage (%)
Other 5 - 25
Shrubby / Arborescent 26 - 50
Species Presence status References
Galactites tomentosa
Geranium molle
Tamarix sp.


Number of individuals


Larus cachinnans
Monticola solitarius (Linnaeus, 1758)
Calonectris diomedea (Scopoli, 1769)
Puffinus yelkouan (Acerbi, 1827)


Presence status in wetland

Discoglossus pictus (Otth, 1837)
Pelophylax bedriagae (Camerano, 1882)


Presence status in wetland

Odonta spp.
Orthetrum trinacria (Selys, 1841)

ERA (2015) The 2 nd Water Catchment Management Plan for the Malta Water Catchment District 2015 - 2021

Sciberras, A. & Schembri, P. J. (2006) Occurrence of the alien Bedriaga's frog (Rana bedriagae Camerano, 1882) in the Maltese Islands, and implications for conservation