The term ‘habitat’ refers to the type of area or locality where an organism naturally occurs. The natural habitat of a plant or animal species satisfies its requirements in terms of food, growth, reproduction, shelter and living space.

In the Maltese Islands, there are two main types of habitats:

  • Marine
  • Terrestrial


Cliffs in Gozo
Coastal cliffs at il-Ponta ta’ Ħarrux (Dwejra, Gozo)


Various terrestrial and marine habitats of importance are known from the Maltese Islands, some of which are particularly unique. Amongst these are the magnificent sheer cliffs that border the western side of the Islands. These cliffs, apart from harbouring a variety of endemic species that are only restricted to such habitats, also serve as important breeding sites for a number of seabirds.


Posidonia oceanica meadows
Posidonia oceanica meadows


When one considers the marine environment, Posidonia seagrass meadows probably represent the most important, natural, marine habitat type in Maltese waters, in terms of productivity. These meadows are a priority habitat of importance at European level, as they provide food and shelter for numerous invertebrates, fish and other marine vertebrate species.

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