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Title: Hotspot atlas of birds of prey that occur in Malta
Authors: Aloisio, Pascal
Keywords: Birds of prey -- Migration -- Malta
Birds of prey -- Habitat -- Malta
Birds of prey -- Conservation -- Malta
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: This dissertation gives an overview of birds of prey, their habitat and migration routes, as well as potential threats and possible conservation measures. The main aim of this dissertation is to identify important areas for birds of prey in the Maltese Islands. This includes identifying important roosting, foraging and potential breeding sites. The study also includes the observation and identification of land cover including land use, such as agricultural practices which affect the habitat of birds of prey. Results were obtained through on-site mapping, where different habitats suitable for raptors were observed and mapped accordingly. Photographs were taken of different terrain throughout the study and these, together with satellite imagery software, were then compared with the results obtained in the field. Google Earth was used to create several maps indicating suitable habitats for birds of prey that occur in the Maltese Islands. The main conclusion is that, while the main areas of importance for birds of prey occur mainly in the western and southern areas of the Maltese Archipelago, and substantial parts of Gozo and almost entire Comino, other more urban areas also represent good sites for raptors. A good example is Wied Qirda and ─Žandaq which, although surrounded by urban areas, still present a good site for foraging and roosting raptors. It is also vital to note that substantial areas across the Maltese countryside represent potential breeding sites for birds of prey, were it not for human intervention. Several activities such as rock climbing, line fishing, hunting and trekking were noted at various locations, many of which would be ideal for nesting. Therefore, this researcher would recommend further studies on this aspect and eventually evaluating such sites, which should be protected. Increased education and awareness, as well as enforcement are key to successful protection of such sites.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsESEMP - 2015

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