Malta University Publishers Ltd launched its latest Publication

L-Għasafar li jbejtu fl-ambjent naturali tal-gżejjer Maltin. 449pp
Alfred E Baldacchino, John Azzopardi
Drawings: Andrew Micallef
Publishers: Malta University Publishers Ltd.

The Malta University Publishers Ltd. has on the 17th July 2007, launched its latest publication L-Għasafar li jbejtu fl-ambejnt naturali tal-gżejjer Maltin. Present for the launch were Prof. Robert Ghirlando who chaired the meeting, Prof. Alfred Vella, pro-rector of the University of Malta; Prof. Patrick J.
Schembri, who wrote the forward for the book; Dr. Louis F. Cassar who gave a critical appraisal of the book; Mr Josef Grech, the Group CEO of the University’s group of companies and CEO of the Foundation of International Studies, and the authors and artist.

L-Għasafar li jbejtu fl-ambjent naturali tal-gżejjer Maltin is an extensive publication which is based on the breeding birds of the Maltese Islands. The authors, who in the past both occupied official positions within the Malta Ornithological Society (now BirdLife) bank on their vast experience, both in the field and also in
that of bird protection, producing a first ever extensive publication on the breeding birds of Malta. The book is based on local field observations and literature research both in Malta and abroad. It contains new, never published information of discoveries made in the field and in overlooked past literature.
Renowned nature artist Andrew Micallef, was entrusted with the illustrations for the book.

The book introduces the subject by outlining the evolution of birds, leading to the classification of the avian fauna. It also focuses on the diverse natural habitat of the Maltese islands, which is an integral part of the birds’ breeding biology.

The main section is devoted to breeding birds which regularly breed in the Maltese islands, followed by a section dedicated to birds which sometimes breed locally. The third section on breeding birds centres on birds which either used to breed in the past or which are thought to have bred in the Maltese islands. All the breeding species are introduced by a short account of their order and family, while giving the status of all the birds recorded in the Maltese islands from the respective families.

This publication also includes information on legislation on the protection of birds in the Maltese islands, giving a historical glance at the first bird protection regulations up to the time of the finalisation of the manuscript. This is augmented by international principles in bird protection touching on the important
conventions and treaties on the subject. New concepts in today’s conservation of biodiversity are also included and there is one chapter on invasive species, even in the field of the avifauna.

The book contains a chapter that gives a short biographical overview on the pioneer writers of the 19th century and early 20th century who have made a contribution to the local ornithology studies.

Besides the glossary, an extensive bibliography, an index and a list of all the species mentioned in the publication, entered by vernacular, scientific, and common English name, the book also contains 14 tables which give a visual summary of bird protection legislation matters discussed in the book.

This publication, written in Maltese, is a must for all those with a scientific interest in the local biodiversity, especially the avifauna, as well as for those readers interested in the historical, educational, and legal aspects of the topic. The book also aims to break new ground by treating technical topics rarely dealt with in Maltese language.

The book is lavishly illustrated with colour plates of the species mentioned, as well as photos of natural habitats, and a number of pen drawings and silhouettes. The book is available at all leading bookshops for the price of Lm10.00 soft back and Lm15 hardback.

Enquires can be made to the Malta University Publishers Ltd. on 21 313416/7 or by email to