News

Painting in the park

Painting in the park

Join Jeni Caruana to draw and paint in the wild and wonderful Majjistral Nature and History Park every Sunday afternoon between 19th February and 23rd April 2017.

All levels are welcome, from beginners to more advanced.  Basic drawing and watercolour techniques will be covered for those that need to bulid up some confidence.  More experienced painters will be helped to further their skills. Every week there will be the option of staying in the Visitor Centre itself or painting outside.
 
Bring your own materials (whatever you wish to work with). 
Bring what you have and we'll discuss it if you are not sure!

Meet at the Visitors' Centre at 3pm, finishing at 5.30pm 
Fee: 25 euro per class 

For booking and for more information phone 99458286 or send an email to
jentambia@gmail.com

Check out her website on www.jenicaruana.com

Certificate of Excelence

Certificate of Excelence

Majjistral Nature and History Park 
EARNS 2016 TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE

Għajn Tuffieħa, Malta 8 June 2016. Majjistral Nature and History Park today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. Now in its sixth year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience.

Once again Majjistral Nature and History Park has been awarded the 2016 Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor -

"You've Been Recognised for Superior Service

We're thrilled to announce that Il-Majjistral Nature and History Park has been selected for the 2016 Certificate of Excellence, reflecting the consistently great reviews you've earned on TripAdvisor."

 

ARBOR VITAE - exhibition of works by Jeni Caruana at Majjistral Visitor Centre

ARBOR VITAE  - exhibition of works by Jeni Caruana at Majjistral Visitor Centre

http://www.eve.com.mt/2016/11/16/jeni-caruana-launches-arbor-vitae/

JENI CARUANA LAUNCHES ARBOR VITAE

The Majjistral Nature and History Park Visitors Centre in Għajn Tuffieħa saw the launch of Jeni Caruana‘s exhibition, Arbor Vitae (Tree of Life) on the 4th November.

Trees have always been one of Caruana’s recurrent motifs, and with the Arbor Vitae collection, Caruana wanted to explore the many meanings attached to them, and how vitally important it is that we preserve, respect and protect them.

In her welcoming remarks, Simone Mizzi, Vice-President of Din l-Art Ħelwa, thanked Caruana for choosing the Majjistral Park for her exhibition, commenting that “nature is so calming and so soothing, we need it in our everyday lives. We need fresh air for healthy living and trees to keep our atmosphere clean and filter the pollution we create ourselves. Trees offer shelter not just to man, but to the small wildlife and the birds that abound in every place where they exist.”

ARBOR VITAE - exhibition of works by Jeni Caruana

ARBOR VITAE  - exhibition of works by Jeni Caruana

Artist Jeni Caruana will be holding an exhibition of works entitled Arbor Vitae (Tree of Life) at The Majjistral Nature and History Park, Ghajn Tuffieha from November 5 until December 16. Read more about the event on :http://www.visitmalta.com/en/event-details/2016-11/arbor-vitae-9776

Some recent works in Park

Some recent works in Park

Some recent works carried out in Majjistral Park included the building/repair of rubble walls to help land regeneration and stop vehicular access, removal of alien species of plants from some parts in the Park, and also clean ups. 

Sand Dune at Ramla tal-Mixquqa

Sand Dune at Ramla tal-Mixquqa

Earlier this year the Park has removed a number of alien species from the sand dune at Ramla tal-Mixquqa. Alien species removed included Hottentot Fig, Prickly Pear, Yucca and Agave. 

Forget mass tourism, go Eco: Working together for Ecotourism in Malta (MEET Project)

Forget mass tourism, go Eco: Working together for Ecotourism in Malta (MEET Project)

A two day training session within the Majjistral Nature and History Park brought together stakeholders from the park management team, public and private institutions to discuss how to transform this challenge into a concrete reality in their territory. The MEET recently organized a training on “Ecotourism participatory planning in Protected Areas,’ based on the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas, and this is after two similar events they organized  in 2014 in Jordan and in Tunisia.

Click here to read more 

Live streaming of Spanish Sparrow nest box http://www.ustream.tv/channel/majjistral-park-nest-box

21 May 2015

Watch live streaming of a nest box of Spanish Sparrows at Majjistral Park, when camera is on air. The chicks have now hatched.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/majjistral-park-nest-box

 

Live streaming of Spanish Sparrow nest box http://www.ustream.tv/channel/majjistral-park-nest-box

New information panels in the Visitor Centre

New information panels in the Visitor Centre

New information panels have been set up in the Visitor Centre. They where funded by the MEET Project. 

Training workshops and public talks on identification of cetacean and marine turtle species

Training workshops and public talks on identification of cetacean and marine turtle species

"During the preceding summer months, the LIFE + MIGRATE team has done a number of training workshops to a variety of associations and stakeholders, namely Majjistral Park, Sharklab Malta, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Calypso Subaqua Club, Atlam Diving club and fishers from the Fishing Federation. The sessions included information about the project itself and its main goals, as well as relatively detailed descriptions of the cetacean (mainly dolphins and whales) and turtle species which occur around the Maltese Islands."


Read more about the recent collaboration between the Il-Majjistral Nature and History Park and LIFE+ Migrate. 

Recent News

Recent News

Many thanks to all who reviewed Il-Majjistral Nature and History Park - we have just received the Certificate of excellence.

Please add your review here


Let's Do It Malta - cleanup with San Anton Cub Scouts at Majjistral Park

On 10th May (2014) 25 cub scouts and leaders from San Anton scout group as well as other children and parents joined up with us at the park for an intensive cleanup of the northern area of the park at Il-Prajjet (Anchor Bay).

We collected over 40 bags, half of which were separated inton recyclable bags, as well as various bulky items...

Well done to all! Check out the event in the cub scouts' own words:

"We didn’t expect that much rubbish, like bones and other stuff, and it was sad that people do not respect nature, that people threw that much rubbish."

"We didn’t expect to find the things we found. There was a toilet over there and lots of bags full of rubbish"

"I really enjoyed participating in the clean up, but there should be less floor tiles and glass!"

"When you have a picnic don’t leave litter behind! There should be less rubbish in nice areas."

"Don’t leave car parts around because they destroy flowers."

"When you see litter pick it up. We will make an effort not to litter."

" We were so excited to clean up and help Malta. Though when we cleaned up we were shocked with all the rubbish we found, but there was a lovely view.One of us found a skull of a sheep, others found a toilet, some shoes and clothes. We thought someone lived here!!"

We enjoyed it a lot!

Let's Do It Malta - cleanup with San Anton Cub Scouts at Majjistral Park

Photographic Exhibition

Photographic Exhibition at Majjistral Nature and History Park Visitor Centre.

Open from 8 May till 5 June.

Free entrance.

Exhibition displays 30 photogrpahs by 12 different photographers -

Darren Saliba, Annalise Falzon, Guido Bonett, Noel Camilleri, Mark Anthony Falzon, Natalino Fenech, Nicholas Galea, Raymond Galea, Benjamin Metzger, Michael Sammut, Aron Tanti, Grace Tanti

 

Photographic Exhibition

Other News

Other News

Majjistral park Board set up

TVM News Feature on the newly set up Majjistral Board (3/5/2013)

 

Majjistral park Board set up

Press Release: Repeated Vandalism and fires at Il-Majjistral Nature and History Park

The Majjistral Park Management Board denounces more vandalistic acts at the park where once again the gate to limit vehicular access to the park was removed with force and disposed of in an unknown location. The park is working to control access so as to limit damage of the already heavily eroded soils and trampled garigue habitats as well as to curb illegal offroading and dumping whilst making it a safer place for visitors. The installing of gates was part of a long process of collaboration with local park users who have titles on the land within the enclosed area and who were given keys to easily access the area. Visitors on foot and bicycle could continue to access the park without hindrance.

More vandalism was also suffered on interpretation panels around the park.

Various fires of unknown origin spread throughout the park at ix-Xagħra l-Ħamra on Sunday night and were thankfully controlled by the Civil Protection Department who were alerted by a local farmer passing by. Earlier fires were also noticed in at least two patches of freshly burnt land at Wied Żnuber and Rdum Majjiesa.  The park management would like to thank the CPD for intervening to control the damage to farmland and natural vegetation.

The Park appeals to the public to contact the police (119) and the park management to report any illegal or suspicious activities whilst any fires are to be reported on 112.

The park, Malta’s only national natural park, occupies a vast stretch of land in Mellieħa from Golden Bay to Anchor Bay and is a place of active relaxation for many people both local and foreign whilst acting as an outdoor classroom for hundreds of students each year, as farmland for many farmers and as precious habitat for a wide range of biodiversity.

 

Press Release: Repeated Vandalism and fires at Il-Majjistral Nature and History Park

Naxxar Cub Scouts at Majjistral Park

VISIT TO MAJJISTRAL PARK

Together with their leaders the Naxxar Cubs and Scouts recently set off to the Majjistral Park where the cubs were greeted by Ms. Annalise Falzon. Here, a guided walk was held and Ms. Analise explained about the importance of respecting the environment, territorial bird calls, endemic plant species and adaptations of plants to survive in our Maltese climate.

The cubs and scouts then assisted in a clean up in a small section of the Majjistral Park. The group searched for and collected empty cartridge shells that had been fired by hunters. A total of 498 empty shells were collected and these were taken back to headquarters and were then used in a craft project in which a model of a Maltese stone corbelled hut better known as a girna was built.  

The cubs and scouts then helped one of the rangers in the park to conserve the olive trees that had been planted in an afforestation project. Pest control in the park is done in an environmentally friendly way, without the use of harmful chemicals found in conventional pesticides. One of the major pests that olive trees have are snails and thus to prevent attack by snails the ranger explained how dacron is tied around the base of the trunks of these trees. Following instructions, the cubs and scouts helped to remove dacron that had been used in previous years and then replaced it with a new layer which was secured in place by a reef knot.

See also here

Press Release: Golden Bay needs protection

The Heritage Parks federation, as manager of Majjistral Park concurs with MEPA’s action to step up enforcement measures which control abusive development in the area especially any occuring in the extremely sensitive site of Golden bay (Il-Mixquqa). The beach backed by rare sand dunes with equally rare associated species is in itself a scarce habitat considering less than 2% of Malta’s coastline consists of sandy shores.

Before being incorporated within the National Park of Il-Majjistral, Golden Bay was granted various levels of protection both on national and international levels as an:

Area of Very High Landscape Value, Grade 1 Scheduled Area of Ecological Importance and a Special Area of Conservation of International Importance.

The beach and sand dune area have been degraded over years of human disturbance including the construction of stairways and kiosks and the spread of invasive species. The park management has in fact been granted the go ahead from the same authority to proceed with a restoration plan for the sand dunes.  

The park carries out regular environmental awareness activities with a special focus on coastal ecology and marine life during the summer months. Unfortunately issues of light and noise pollution and mechanised beach cleaning works are often of detriment to the experience of the site and the conservation objectives of this Natura 2000 site.

Illegal developments on site have also been the only stumbling block hindering the beach from obtaining the full status of Blue Flag for consecutive years. The park management also hopes that the adjacent Rdum Majjiesa Marine Protected Area receives the adequate support for full implementation and enforcement without further delay.

 

 

Naxxar Cub Scouts at Majjistral Park

Press Release: Golden Bay needs protection

The Heritage Parks federation, as manager of Majjistral Park concurs with MEPA’s action to step up enforcement measures which control abusive development in the area especially any occuring in the extremely sensitive site of Golden bay (Il-Mixquqa). The beach backed by rare sand dunes with equally rare associated species is in itself a scarce habitat considering less than 2% of Malta’s coastline consists of sandy shores.

Before being incorporated within the National Park of Il-Majjistral, Golden Bay was granted various levels of protection both on national and international levels as an:

Area of Very High Landscape Value, Grade 1 Scheduled Area of Ecological Importance and a Special Area of Conservation of International Importance.

The beach and sand dune area have been degraded over years of human disturbance including the construction of stairways and kiosks and the spread of invasive species. The park management has in fact been granted the go ahead from the same authority to proceed with a restoration plan for the sand dunes.  

The park carries out regular environmental awareness activities with a special focus on coastal ecology and marine life during the summer months. Unfortunately issues of light and noise pollution and mechanised beach cleaning works are often of detriment to the experience of the site and the conservation objectives of this Natura 2000 site.

Illegal developments on site have also been the only stumbling block hindering the beach from obtaining the full status of Blue Flag for consecutive years. The park management also hopes that the adjacent Rdum Majjiesa Marine Protected Area receives the adequate support for full implementation and enforcement without further delay.

 

Press Release: Golden Bay needs protection

Newsletter June-July 2014

You can access our newsletter here.

Newsletter June-July 2014

Upcoming event Summer 2014

Join us for our summer events - check out the events section for full details and email walks@majjistral.org to book:

Guided snorkelling dates:  5 and 26 July, 16 August @ 9am Golden Bay

Nocturnal Life at the Park: 19 July @ 7pm @ Majjistral Park Visitor Centre

Sunset walk and food in the fields: 1st August @ 7pm Manikata

Rugged coast Kayaking: 6th August @ 5.30pm till sunset - Golden Bay

Upcoming event Summer 2014

Park Promo video launched

The short Park promo is now online - please feel free to share.

The full feature can be watched at the Majjistral Park Visitor Centre.

Enjoy!

 Park Promo video launched

Visitor Centre

 

Please note the Visitor Centre will not be open in the weekends in August.  

If you need more info contact us on 21521291 during office hours.

Visitor Centre

'Gilbert Vancell Nature Photography' will be donating 5% out of its Fine Art Print sales to the 3 NGO's that together take care of Majjistral Park: Nature Trust (Malta), Din l-Art Ħelwa and The Gaia Foundation.

Through fine art prints we share the beauty of our Maltese Landscape with both people and businesses, to increase love and respect for our precious natural environment. We want to encourage and inspire people to go out and explore what is in our own backyard. We are also pushed by the thought that not everyone have the possibility to access these areas. A fine art print is a way to experience the beauty of nature that is available for everyone.

Website: http://gvancell.com/

 


Learn more about the park's resident seabirds

Learn more about the park's resident seabirds

Jintemm b'success l-ewwel Kors fir-restawr tal-Hitan tas-Sejjieh fil-park

Tnax il-parteċipant lestew il-kors ta' 20 siegħa li sar fil-Park tal-Majjistral mal-għalliem Simon Buttiġieġ u li sar flimkien mal-MCAST. Qed inħejju għal-kors ieħor - jekk interessati iktbulna fuq walks@majjistral.org - dan se jsir f'April 2013.

 

Jintemm b'success l-ewwel Kors fir-restawr tal-Hitan tas-Sejjieh fil-park

Article on The Malta Independent

http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=149292

Article on The Malta Independent

Press Release - Young nature photographers at Majjistral Park

Young nature photographers, aged between 7 and 10 years, together with their parents joined the Majjistral Nature and History Park guide on a special outing recently. The aim of the day was to encourage an eye for observing details in nature and to serve as a learning experience about plants, the countryside code and basic notions of photography. The photographers were divided into groups to encourage teamwork and they used Canon digital cameras donated by Avantech Ltd together with a portable photo printer for use in educational activities at the park. Each team searched for different flowers learning their names in the process and refining their observation and creativity skills. Every participant had the chance to select their favourite photo of the day and have a copy printed.

The activity was enjoyed by all despite the fact that the park information panels, which formed part of the activity preparation on site, were stolen and could not be found on site during the same event.

Below is some feedback received from parents:

“Great idea as it combined two passions my son has ... Nature and photography”

“My children really enjoyed it .... And was interesting for us grown ups as well.”

“They enjoyed the activity very much, even myself ... Well done, well organised and very informative!!!!”

The activity will be repeated in the Easter holidays.

Any groups wishing to book guided visits at the park can do so by contacting the park guide on walks@majjistral.org

School visits will be resuming as soon as the hunting season ends as of 1st February. The visits are suitable for year 3 upwards whilst older age groups can choose the nature photography option upon request.

In the meantime the general public is invited to attend our regular park activities – the next guided nature walk being on 3rdFebruary at 2.30pm whilst the next public lecture entitled “Life in Freshwater Rockpools” by Dr Sandro Lanfranco will be held onTuesday 5th February at 6pm.

More information on the activities can be obtained by emailing walks@majjistral.org or viewing the park website at www.majjistral.org.

 

Press Release - Young nature photographers at Majjistral Park

Build an APP for Majjistral Park - COMPETITION

This is a Challenge where participants are invited to submit a concept for a mobile application (App) to be used for the Majjistral Nature and History Park.

The Challenge is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship, creativity, and technical skillsthrough the development of an App which, in turn, will provide a rich learning experience for physical or virtual visitors to the Majjistral Nature and History Park.

The submissions received will be evaluated by judges, who will short-list the two 2 best concepts in accordance with the judging criteria provided in this leaflet. The two 2 short-listed teams will, during summer 2014, be mentored by MITA professionals to develop their concept into an APP.​

FOR FULL INFO AND APPLICATION FORMS CHECK:

https://mita.gov.mt/en/buildappchallenge/Pages/Build-an-App.aspx

Build an APP for Majjistral Park - COMPETITION

Majjistral park featured on TVM news

http://tvm.com.mt/news/2013/08/site-regulations-established-for-majjistral-park/

Majjistral park featured on TVM news

Press Release: SITE REGULATIONS ESTABLISHED FOR MAJJISTRAL PARK

SITE REGULATIONS ESTABLISHED FOR MAJJISTRAL PARK

The management of the Majjistral Park has stepped up a gear with the establishment of site specific regulations to regulate certain activities within the park, issued by legal notice 217 of 2013 that came into force on the 23rd July 2013.

This exercise is a very important element in the enhanced management of a national park, setting out proper guidelines and procedures, following public consultation, for the enjoyment by the public while respecting the conservation status of the park, which incorporates part of the North West Coastal Cliffs Natura 2000 site of international importance.

 

While access to the park remains open to the public, certain activities have been regulated in order to meet the site management's objectives. Thus vehicular access is subject to legitimate users like farmers and those applying for access on the basis of criteria set out by the Management Board, these include research and studies, persons with disability and educational events. Vehicular access had to be controlled owing to widespread abuse like dumping and tipping, and off roading on the protected garrigue. With regard to hunting, a compromise was reached after extended discussions with stakeholders, to limit the practice to 10 am, with the numerous school visits and tours set for after 10.00 am. Other activities are regulated by the said legal notice, some of which would be permitted under certain conditions and within areas designated by the Management for such activities.

The park management has thanked the general public and various public and private entities for all their feedback and input leading up to the issue of the site regulations. It has also thanked the public for its cooperation and in working to make Malta's first National Park a success and a site to be proud of. Information on the regulation of activities is being posted on the Park's website www.majjistral.org and its Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/majjistral/

The Management can be contacted at info@majjistral.org for further information.

-----------------------------------

Regolamenti ġodda għall-park tal-Majjistral

It-Tmexxija tal-Park tal-Majjistral ħadet spinta ‘l quddiem permezz ta’ regolamenti speċifiċi għas-sit kif inħarġu bl-Avviż Legali 217 tal-2013 tat-23 ta’ Lulju 2013.

Dan huwa eżerċizzju importanti għall-immaniġġjar aħjar ta’ Park nazzjonali. Wara konsultazzjoni pubblika inħarġu linji gwidi u proċeduri sabiex ikun imħares l-istat ta’ konservazzjoni tal-park filwaqt li jitgawda mill-pubbliku. Il-Park jinkludi jifforma parti minn sit estensiv ta’ Importanza internazzjonali Natura 2000 tal-Irdumijiet tal-Majjistral ta’ Malta.

Xi attivitajiet qed jiġu rregolati sabiex jintlaħqu l-għanijiet tal-immaniġjar tas-sit filwaqt li l-aċċess għall-pubbliku ser jibqa’ miftuħ. L-aċċess bil-vetturi huwa limitat għal utenti tal-parj bħal bdiewa jew oħrajn li japplikaw skont il-kriterji maħruġa mill-Bord tal-Immaniġġjar – dawn jinkludu riċerka u studji, attivitajiet edukattivi u persuni b’diżabilità. L-aċċess għall-vetturi kellu jiġi regolat minħabba l-abbużi regolari ta’ rimi illegal ta’ skart u offroading fuq ix-xagħri. Rigward il-kaċċa ntlaħaq kumprumess wara diskussjonijiet estensivi mal-istakeholders sabiex din l-attivita sseħħ sal-10am sabiex visiti ggwidati u attivitajiet skolastiċi jseħħu wara 10am. L-avviż legali jirregola attivitajiet oħra li jistgħu jingħataw permess skont xi kundizzjonijiet u f’żoni indikati għal dan il-għan mit-Tmexxija tal-park.

Il-Park jirringrazzja lill-pubbliku ġenerali u l-entitatjiet pubbliċi u privati li taw il-kummenti taghħom sabiex jiġu formulati dawn ir-regolamenti. Tirringrazzja l-pubbliku għall-koperazzjoni tagħha sabiex dan l-ewwel Park Nazzjonali naturali ikun suċċess. L-informazzjoni dwar ir-regolamenti jinsabu fuq il-websajt www.majjistral.org u fuq il-paġna Facebook. Għal iktar informazzjoni l-park jista’ jiġi kkuntattjat fuq info@majjistral.org

 

Press Release: SITE REGULATIONS ESTABLISHED FOR MAJJISTRAL PARK

Autumn at the Park - upcoming events 2013

The Majjistral Nature and History Park, located in Mellieha, is now in its sixth year having been declared a National Park in September 2007. Over 8000 people have attended park activities since its inception - these have ranged from nature talks to guided and thematic walks with specialists on botany, entomology, ornithology, malacology, astronomy, mammalogy, geology, wildlife photography, ichthyology and elasmobranchology. The park also regularly teams up with  related organizations to offer health awareness activities as well as with farmers to support local produce and organic farming.

The Park will resume its weekend walks for the public with the first autumn walk being offered free on Sunday 20th October. The autumn calendar of events can be found below and all bookings or queries are to be directed to walks@majjistral.org  

More activities may be announced in due course and updates are regularly posted on the Park’s Facebook Page. Information about the park can be found on www.majjistral.org

Tuesday 15th  October 2013 6.30pm: Public Lecture i.c.w Din l-Art Ħelwa: ‘The Mediterranean’s Underwater Forests’ by Dr Joseph A Borg at Din l-Art Ħelwa Office 133 Melita Street Valletta. Free event

Sunday 20th October 3pm –Guided walks resume with an afternoon walk starting from near Golden Bay Bus stop. Free event

Saturday 26th October 10am – Cleanup at the park i.c.w. Mellieħa Local Council

Sunday 2nd November 10am – Children’s activity for the Park’s Junior Rangers club i.c.w. Turu APPREZZA Campaign Ages 11-13 (by Booking) Free event

Sunday 10th November 10am – Guided Nature walk for adults (by Booking)

Tuesday 19th November 6.30pm: Public Lecture in conjunction with Din l-Art Ħelwa: 'An overview of the underwater assets of local Marine Protected Areas' by Dr Alan Deidun. Free event

Sunday 24th November 10am Treasure Hunt – Fresh air, exercise and testing your knowledge about the park! (by Booking)

In the meantime the management would like to reminds the general public and organised groups that group bookings can also be taken for private tours of the park.

Annalise Falzon

Communications Officer and Nature Walks Guide

Il-Majjistral Nature and History Park

www.majjistral.org

Email: walks@majjistral.org

Tel: +356 21521291   Mob: +356 79006395

 

Autumn at the Park - upcoming events 2013

Article published on Times of Malta

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140119/environment/Audit-firm-employees-clean-up-G-ajn-nuber.503227#.Utz4cbBwbIU

 

Article published on Times of Malta

International Day for Biodiversity - 22 May

This year's theme focuses on Island Biodiversity - read more here

The Maltese Islands contain a rich biodiversity considering their limited size and intense human pressure. Apart from a rich indigenous flora the islands are also host to numerous endemics  - 18 of these are represented in Majjistral Park.

The islands are also situated along one of the main bird migratory routes apart from sustaining a number of local breeding birds. Around 12 species are breeding in the park alone.

The park continues to act as a gateway for increasing awareness on local biodiversity whilst also seeking measures to conserve it. We hope to have more research carried out on site to also come up with more information on faunal species such as micromammals and invertebrates.  

International Day for Biodiversity - 22 May

Brand new behaviour recorded on shearwater nest-camera

Here is a press release on the Yelkouan shearwaters at the park - issued by BirdLife Malta on 23rd May:

Brand new behaviour recorded on shearwater nest-camera

Friday 23rd May 2014 – A new video released by BirdLife Malta today shows never-before-recorded behaviour of a pair of Yelkouan Shearwaters, known as Garnija in Maltese, on their nest high up in the sea-cliffs at Majjistral Park, in the north west of Malta.

The footage was recorded by researchers from the EU LIFE+ Malta Seabird Projectstudying the birds at a newly discovered colony along the cliffs of Majjistral Nature and History Park that is a protected Natura 2000 area. Many of Malta’s 34 Natura 2000 sites can be found along the Islands’ extensive coastline, where the sea-cliffs provide a home for 10 percent of the world’s Yelkouan Shearwaters.

The video shows a pair of brooding adult Yelkouans taking turns to sit on their egg, but takes a dramatic turn when an intruder enters the nest and needs to be chased off!

By a placing a trail camera with an infra-red light and sensor inside a cave where these threatened seabirds were found to be nesting the researchers were able to capture intimate video and sound of these birds that has previously been impossible to observe.

“It’s very exciting for us to be able to see what these birds are doing inside the caves where they have their nests,” said Dr Benjamin Metzger, Head of Research on the project.

“Such footage is helping us reveal more of their secretive lives and intricate social behaviour, which is a result of their colonial nesting habits.”

The Malta Seabird Project team have been working with the cooperation of the Park’s management to find out how many Yelkouan Shearwaters there are breeding on the cliffs at Majjistral, as well as fitting some of the adult’s with GPS tracking devices to learn where the birds from this particular colony go to feed during the day.

They have also been helping to organise public information events to help raise awareness of the presence of these threatened seabirds in the Park.

This evening, BirdLife Malta’s Falko youth group and Majjisttal Nature & History Park are inviting the public to a “shearwater listening” activity at Majjistral, where they will be able to hear the calling Yelkouans as they return to their nests after sunset. Sharp-eyed visitors might even catch a glimpse of the birds flying in from the sea below the cliffs.

 

For more information about the activity and to book a place you can emailfalkoblm@gmail.com or walks@majjistral.org, and visit the event page on Facebook.

 

The EU Life+ Malta Seabird Project aims to identify Marine Important Bird Areas for the three species of tubenose seabirds breeding in the Maltese Islands. The project is 50% funded by the EU’s LIFE unit, and is a partnership between BirdLife Malta, the RSPB (BirdLife UK), SPEA (BirdLife Portugal) and the Ministry for Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change

 

Brand new behaviour recorded on shearwater nest-camera

Intervista Muzajk Mejju 2014

Click here to read the Interview with Annalise Falzon

Intervista Muzajk Mejju 2014

Press Release: Golden Bay needs protection

The Heritage Parks federation, as manager of Majjistral Park concurs with MEPA’s action to step up enforcement measures which control abusive development in the area especially any occuring in the extremely sensitive site of Golden bay (Il-Mixquqa). The beach backed by rare sand dunes with equally rare associated species is in itself a scarce habitat considering less than 2% of Malta’s coastline consists of sandy shores.

Before being incorporated within the National Park of Il-Majjistral, Golden Bay was granted various levels of protection both on national and international levels as an:

Area of Very High Landscape Value, Grade 1 Scheduled Area of Ecological Importance and a Special Area of Conservation of International Importance.

The beach and sand dune area have been degraded over years of human disturbance including the construction of stairways and kiosks and the spread of invasive species. The park management has in fact been granted the go ahead from the same authority to proceed with a restoration plan for the sand dunes.  

The park carries out regular environmental awareness activities with a special focus on coastal ecology and marine life during the summer months. Unfortunately issues of light and noise pollution and mechanised beach cleaning works are often of detriment to the experience of the site and the conservation objectives of this Natura 2000 site.

Illegal developments on site have also been the only stumbling block hindering the beach from obtaining the full status of Blue Flag for consecutive years. The park management also hopes that the adjacent Rdum Majjiesa Marine Protected Area receives the adequate support for full implementation and enforcement without further delay.

 

Press Release: Golden Bay needs protection