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Animals

Status of Selected Vertebrates

The status of selected vertebrates known from Malta was assessed following a study commissioned by MEPA. The species considered included native mammals (excluding cetaceans), native reptiles, the sole native amphibian, and two naturalised species.

The results indicated that 70% of the selected vertebrates are threatened. Critically endangered species include the Gozo shrew and, the Fungus Rock and the St. Paul’s Islands Wall Lizards. Other endangered vertebrates comprise the Filfola Wall Lizard, the Painted Frog and the Grey Long-eared Bat. Four other bat species are vulnerable. Further threatened species include the Algerian Hedgehog, the Wood Mouse, the Weasel, the Noctule Bat, as well as a variety of reptile species, such as snakes and marine turtles. Species that occasionally visit Maltese waters, referred to as vagrant species, include certain marine turtles and the Mediterranean Monk Seal; these can also be considered as threatened.

Added to the above, three species of bats known from the Maltese Islands have not been seen for several years, such that they can be considered as extinct from Malta. This amounts to 8% of the selected vertebrate species taken into consideration in the assessment. The remaining 22% can be considered as not threatened at the date of assessment. Amongst these are two naturalised non-native vertebrate species – the European Rabbit and the Mediterranean Chameleon.

Painted Frog

Maltese Wall Lizard

Maltese Freshwater Crab

Bats

Butterflies