On 21st August 2018 BirdLife Malta signed a management and operation agreement with the Government of Malta for the Salina Park. This will create the Salina Nature Reserve which was entrusted to BirdLife Malta to manage for the next five years.
Salina Nature Reserve lies in the Burmarrad valley mouth (limits of St Paul’s Bay in the north of Malta). Originally a harbour, the Salina site consists of 154,000 square metres of saline marshland and a number of salt pans built on a reclaimed island of clay surrounded by garrigue.
The site has recently been rehabilitated through a €7 million project partially financed with EU funds under the Agricultural Fund for Rural Development 2007-2013. The site’s potential to attract a number of species has been proven repeatedly by birds alighting in the salt pans to rest during migration, among which the most spectacular; the flamingo – a bird synonymous with salt pans, especially in the Mediterranean. Salina is a protected area forming part of the Natura 2000 network and also a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) because of the endemic flora and fauna which can be found in the area.
The official signing, which follows the signing of a preliminary agreement in 2016, took place at the Visitors’ Centre of the reserve itself. The ceremony included speeches by BirdLife Malta President Darryl Grima; Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg and Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change José Herrera. These were followed by the signing of the agreement.
This will be the fourth reserve managed by BirdLife Malta in the Maltese Islands following Għadira Nature Reserve, Simar Nature Reserve and Foresta 2000. The Salina Nature Reserve will not only be BirdLife Malta’s largest land management project but also the largest nature reserve in Malta with a history linked to salt production. One is hopeful that the public will now be able to enjoy new bird species that are attracted to the area and maybe even breed there.
Click here for the press release (MLT) issued by the Government of Malta about the signing of the agreement.
You can also click below to watch an edited video of the signing of the management and operation agreement.