"Save Malta's Natural Habitats" is a key project of Rotary Club Malta during the 2021/22 Rotary year and is partly supported by our Gorillas in Uganda fund-raising activity.

"Habitat degradation arises mainly from human activity.  In the Maltese Islands, with ever-increasing land take and population growth, natural habitats are increasing under pressure.  However, these are not the only causes of habitat degradation.  The indiscriminate trampling of vegetation, dumping of rubble and other inert material, planting or escape of non-indigenous plants is yet another reason for habitat degradation.   The restoration of degraded natural habitats is not a mean feat and involves huge efforts starting by extensive field surveys and assessments.  Permits must be sought from ERA whereby one can then proceed to carry out work related to habitat restoration.

If the site is host to invasive alien plant species (IAPs) these need to be uprooted, removed from site and safely disposed of.  Where applicable, material that has been dumped on site, plastic and glass also need to be removed and disposed offsite. 

This is the continuation of a project that was started by Prof Joe Buhagiar and which needs further funding to continue.  Wied Babu in Zurrieq is one of the four sites that have already been restored.  Rotary Club Malta is supporting further work on this project with Protecting the Environment being one of Rotary's Areas of Focus

The next phase involves the planting or direct seeding of indigenous plants typical of the site as part of the population reinforcement effort especially for threatened species.  This will be followed by several months of monitoring to ensure that species planted survive.