BirdLife Malta nature reserves
The main function of our nature reserves is to protect rare habitats and their flora and fauna.
But nature reserves are also great places for people to visit. A few peaceful hours surrounded by nature are the perfect family outing. For this reason BirdLife Malta welcomes visits to Għadira, Simar, Foresta 2000 and Salina. Access to the sites is free of charge.
At some of the sites there are frequent weekend events to further engage visitors, especially children and their families. The nature reserves are also excellent sites for environmental education, science fieldwork and research, and every year thousands of students and their teachers visit these sites as part of their curriculum requirements.
BirdLife Malta will ensure that the nature reserves in its care continue to provide a home for nature and a wonderful place for people to visit and enjoy nature.
For more info, contact details & visiting hours of each reserve click here.
57/28 Triq Abate Rigord
Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1120
BirdLife Malta was founded in 1962 as the Malta Ornithological Society. Its mission was the study and conservation of wild birds, a mission that still fuels all that BirdLife does today. Whatever the activity – bird research, fighting illegal hunting and trapping, protesting against urban sprawl, publishing books and magazines, running educational programmes in schools – it is all with the aim of bird conservation.
Birds cannot be protected in isolation. Like all living things they are part of an intricate foodweb and depend on a healthy ecosystem and habitat. This is why the restoration of habitats and the protection of natural sites have always been high on BirdLife Malta’s priorities.
With the unsustainable rate at which the countryside is currently disappearing, the protection of natural places is even more important today. To do this BirdLife Malta depends on the support of its members. If you are not already a member, please consider joining here.
Photography: Aron Tanti, Mario V. Gauci, Robert Mlinac, Jonathan Caruana, Ian Noel Pace, Antoine Monnier, Cinzia Mintoff, Vera Tokmakova, Murat Gelir, BirdLife Malta
Simar Nature Reserve
In 1992 work began at Simar to restore the wetland and transform the site into a nature reserve. Today the brackish lake, canals and reedbeds at Simar teem with life. These rare habitats are home to many plants and animals, including rare species such as the Beaked Tasselweed (Ruppja). More than 120 species of birds visit the nature reserve every year, including the Little Grebe (Blonġun Żgħir) which nests there and nowhere else in Malta. Simar is a Natura 2000 site. The nature reserve opens to schools and to the public; facilities include visitor centre, nature trail, information boards and birdwatching hide. Entrance is free.
Għadira Nature Reserve
In 1980 work began at Għadira to turn it into a nature reserve, and to protect and extend the wetland. Under BirdLife Malta’s management the saltmarsh, brackish lake and sand dune have flourished. These rare habitats provide home for a rich flora and fauna, including Sea Daffodil (Pankrazju) and Mediterranean Killifish (Bużaqq). More than 140 species of birds are recorded every year, include Black-winged Stilt (Fras-servjent) and Little Ringed Plover (Monakella) which nest there as well. Għadira is a Natura 2000 site. The nature reserve opens to schools and to the public; facilities include visitor centre, nature trail, information boards and birdwatching hide. Entrance is free.
Salina Nature Reserve
For four centuries Salina was the country’s main salt producing area but for many years the place was abandoned. Some years ago the salt pans were restored and in 2016 Salina came under BirdLife Malta’s management. With proper protection as a nature reserve Salina will become another rich home for nature. Rare plants such as the Shrubby Seablite (Għobbejra tal-blat) grow there, and rare birds like the Greater Flamingo (Fjamingu) sometimes visit. Salina is a Natura 2000 site. Parts of the site are open to the public, and facilities include visitor centre, nature trails, information boards and birdwatching hides. Entrance is free.
Foresta 2000 Nature Reserve
The Foresta 2000 woodland project was BirdLife Malta’s millennium initiative. The aim was to provide a home for woodland plants and animals by growing an area of Mediterranean forest, a habitat which is almost extinct in Malta. Work began in 2002, with thousands of native trees and shrubs planted. Wildlife includes Wild Rabbits (Fenek Selvaġġ) and Weasels (Ballottra), and more than 100 species of birds are seen there every year. Foresta 2000 is a Natura 2000 site. The site is open to the public at all times, with footpaths and information boards. Entrance is free.