GOZ011 - Il-Qattara

Il-Qattara is a permanent freshwater natural pool, located along the eastern wall of the hollow that is connected by an intermittent watercourse to the Inland Sea. The pool is fed by a perennial spring seeping from the walls of the hollow. Seepage extends along the entire escarpment and is channelled into the pool by a man-made ledge carved into the rock (Lanfranco and Cassar, 2007). The pool is scheduled as an Area of Ecological Importance and a Site of Scientific Importance and is designated as a Tree Protection Area. The site also lies within a Natura 2000 site.Evidence of an underground rock cut gallery is found at il-Qattara (Nature Trust (Malta) et al., 2005). Groundwater is mostly used for agricultural practices in view of the lack of other land uses in the management plan area. Over-extraction of the groundwater would lead to further sea water intrusion in view that the SAC and SPA is found in the vicinity of the coast.Zannichellia melitensis and Chara globularis are known to grow in this pond (Cassar et al., 2004). Other hydrophilic species inhabit the banks of the spring, including Rumex bucephalophorus, Mentha pulegium, Cyperus longus and Scirpoides holoschoenus. The structure of this habitat is well conserved despite a large number of visitors visiting the area all year round. Unfortunately, however, goldfish have been introduced into the pool and were recorded by Cassar et al. (2004).

Wetland data

Basic information
Wetland location: Inland
Wetland type: Natural
Wetland area: 0.10 Ha
Hydrological interaction: -  
Water salinity: Fresh (< 0.5 g/l)
Type of fresh water input: Karstic spring
Surface water runoff Other
Open water area (%): 5 - 25
Hydroperiod: Permanent
Geographic information
Census district: Gozo and Comino
Island: Gozo
Local council: San Lawrenz
Longitude: 14.192530 East
Latitude: 36.051310 North
Wetland condition
Wetland status (MEDWET): 2 - Original habitats/landform still predominant (>50%)
Ramsar wetland type
Type Coverage (%)
Tp -- Permanent freshwater marshes/pools; ponds (below 8 ha), marshes and swamps on inorganic soils; with emergent vegetation water-logged for at least most of the growing season
Property status
Public
Protection statuses
Protection status category Protection status subcategory Area's name Code Coverage area (%) Legislation
National Area of Ecological Importance/Site of Scientific Importance Id-Dwejra u l-Qawra, limiti ta' San Lawrenz u Kercem, Ghawdex 555546301 100 Development Planning Act (Act VII of 2016)
National Area of Ecological Importance/Site of Scientific Importance Ghadajjar ta' l-ilma helu fil-Qattara, Dwejra (l/ta' San Lawrenz, Ghawdex) 555546301 100 Development Planning Act (Act VII of 2016)
National Area of High Landscape Value Dwejra 555546312 100 Development Planning Act (Act VII of 2016)
National Bird Sanctuary Il-Qawra, Ghawdex 194414 100 Environment Protection Act (Act I of 2016)
International Special Areas of Conservation - International Importance L-Inhawi tad-Dwejra - Qawra, inkluz Hagret il-General 330731 100 Environment Protection Act (Act I of 2016)
International Special Protection Areas Rdumijiet ta' Ghawdex: Il-Ponta ta' San Dimitri sal-Ponta ta' Harrux 555552411 100 Environment Protection Act (Act I of 2016)
National Tree Protection Area Il-Qattara (limiti ta' San Lawrenz) 555546275 100 Environment Protection Act (Act I of 2016)
International Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas Dwejra Bay to San Dimitri Point MT011 100
International Pools Il-Qattara MT SW 01 100 Water Framework Directive
Other Scheduling - Archaeology Buffer zone for road, basin and rock-cut site 1
CDDA protection status
CDDA code CDDA category
MT02 Area of Ecological Importance/Site of Scientific Importance
MT15 Area of High Landscape Value
MT03 Bird Sanctuary
MT11 Special Areas of Conservation - International Importance
MT13 Special Protection Areas
MT06 Tree Protection Area
Important bird areas
IBA code Site name Coverage (%) References
MT011 Dwejra Bay to San Dimitri Point 100
Wetland values
101 Ground water recharge
108 Water transport
205 Water supply
Activities on wetland
Activity Intensity
020 = Resource conservation Low
701 = water pollution High
702 = air pollution High
703 = soil pollution High
920 = Drying out Low
954 = invasion by a species Low
Activities on catchment area
Activity Intensity
010 = Habitat conservation High
501 = paths tracks cycling tracks Low
502 = roads motorways High
608 = camping and caravans Medium
701 = water pollution High
702 = air pollution High
703 = soil pollution High
Impacts
Impact Intensity
EB- = Increase in aesthetic qualities Low
ES- = Increase in water supply High
EU- = Increase of tourist/recreation potential High
Habitat types
Type Coverage (%)
3140 Hard oligo-mesotrophic waters with benthic vegetation of Chara spp. 26 - 50
Vegetation types
Type Coverage (%)
Other
Emergent
Submerged
Ammophilous
Shrubby / Arborescent 5 - 25
Halophytic
Floating-leaved
Wet meadow < 5
Flora
Species Presence status References
Arisarum vulgare
Arundo donax
Asparagus aphyllus
Bituminaria bituminosa
Chara globularis
Cyperus longus subsp. badius
Galium aparine
Geranium molle
Hedysarum coronarium
Hyoseris frutescens
Rumex bucephalophorus
Salix alba
Scirpoides holoschoenus
Silybum marianum
Tamarix africana
Urginea pancration
Vitex agnus-castus
Zannichellia melitensis
Fauna
Mammals Presence status in wetland References
Myotis punicus (Felten, 1977)

Birds

Number of individuals

Nesting

References
Gallinago gallinago (Linnaeus, 1758)
Ardeola ralloides (Scopoli, 1769)
Nycticorax nycticorax (Linnaeus, 1758)
Emberiza calandra (Linnaeus, 1758)

Amphibians

Presence status in wetland

References

Discoglossus pictus (Otth, 1837)

Fishes

Presence status in wetland

References

Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus, 1758)

Invertebrates

Presence status in wetland

References

Augyles (Littorimus) maritimus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Lymnaea truncatula (O. F. Müller, 1774)
Mercuria cf. similis (Draparnaud, 1805)

Adi Epsilon Consortium (2014h) L-Inhawi tad-Dwejra – Natura 2000 Management Plan (SAC). Prepared for the Malta Environment and Planning Authority under CT3101/2011. San Gwann, Malta, pp. 112 + Annex

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