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Geography of Malta

Nature

Terrain shapes and bedrock

According to COUNTRYAAH, Malta is located on a seabed that extends from Sicily to Tunisia. The islands are built up of tertiary sand and limestone deposits, which slope slightly to the northeast. The southwest part of the main island forms a plateau of about 200 m above sea level. Nadur Tower is 239 meters above sea level. and a peak south of Rabat reaches 258 meters above sea level. The surface is porous, inclined and slightly wavy, with the higher strips consisting of coral lime. The southern coast is particularly high and steep and without major inlets, while the northern coast has many deep bays with good, natural ports. Smaller plain areas exist, e.g. in the southeast. Gozo, the second largest island, is also a broken plateau of coral limestone with lower plains to the south. There are no watercourses, but the rainwater drops easily down to the impervious blue clay, which has two different groundwater surfaces.

Geography of Malta

Climate

Malta has a warm temperate climate of pronounced Mediterranean type. The summers are warm, dry and very sunny while the winters are mild, rainy and only occasionally chilly. Frost can occur in winter. Three quarters of the precipitation amount of about 550 mm per year falls during October – March, while June and July are in principle completely dry. The average temperature for the year is 19 C, while the monthly average temperature ranges from 12 to 26 C. Strong winds are common, e.g. the cold mistral from the northwest and the hot and dry sciroccon on the front of the cyclones.

Plant Life

The flora is composed of about 70% of species with more or less spread in the Mediterranean. Several species that tolerate salt influence are common, e.g. Iʹnula crithmoiʹdes, sea fennel (Criʹthmum mariʹtimum), sea onions, tamarisk and francs. Due to cultural influence, natural tree and shrub vegetation is now rare and is preferably found in protected valleys. Among the species are the alpine number, kermesek, mastic, myrtle, olive and Paliuʹrus spiʹna-chriʹsti and Rhaʹmnus lycioiʹdes, as well as the now rare cypress species scars (Tetracliʹnis articulaʹta), which was still common on the island during the late 18th century. Malta has only a few endemic species, which indicates that the islands have been isolated from the mainland in a relatively recent period.

Wildlife

The higher fauna is rather poor, among other things. as a result of hunting. There are only small species of domestic mammals, i.a. small weasel, Spanish hedgehog, water beak mouse, house beak mouse and some species of bats such as horseshoes. Hedgehogs include blue eagle, velvet cap, eyewear, Spanish sparrow and yellow beak and smaller lira. Large numbers of birds pass through Malta during the move. During this time, Maltese birds are hunting intensively, which has led to protests from conservation organizations throughout Europe. Among the herbivores are the endemic species of Maltese Lizard (Podaʹrcis filfoleʹnsis) and Moorish land tortoise.

During the Pleistocene there was a dwarf elephant (Eʹlephas falconeʹri) in Malta and also a hippopotamus in dwarf format.

Nature conservation

Malta has a large number of nature-protected areas of small size, among others. nature reserve and bird sanctuary. About 17% of the land area is protected in some form, including the entire south and west coasts.

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