|Yelkouan Shearwater / FDhermain |
A site is recognised as an IBA only if it meets certain criteria, based on the occurrence of key bird species that are vulnerable to global extinction or whose populations are otherwise irreplaceable. An IBA must be amenable to conservation action and management.
The IBA criteria are internationally agreed, standardised, quantitative and scientifically defensible. Ideally, each IBA should be large enough to support self-sustaining populations of as many as possible of the key bird species for which it was identified, or in the case of migrants, fulfil their requirements for the duration of their presence. By definition, an IBA is an internationally agreed priority for conservation action.
During the preparation of the 2004 IBA inventory, the selected sites in Malta were approved, as they satisfied the following C level criteria:
C2. Concentrations of Annex 1 species of the Bird’s Directive
Under this criterion, two species are used as qualifying species: Cory’s Shearwater and Yelkouan Shearwater
C5. Migratory bottleneck
Under this criterion, four species were used as qualifying species: Honey-buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Hobby and Eleonora's Falcon
C6. Best breeding sites for Annex 1 species
Under this criterion, three species were used as qualifying species: Cory’s Shearwater, Yelkouan Shearwater and European Storm-petrel.