Students visit the iconic natural environment of Dwejra

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The 5th year biology students of the Gozo Seminar recently organized an interesting field exercise in Dwejra – an important site known for its geological, paleontological, ecological and landscape value.

The natural environment of the Dwejra region is emblematic and the rich flora, fauna and ecological characteristics of this region are unique and of extraordinary biological importance and heritage value.

The students, led by biology professor Joseph Louis Xiberras, Marvic Refalo from Eco Skola, Isabelle Cutajar Vella and Joseph Cassar, were divided into four groups covering different fields of study.

One of the main objectives of the fieldwork was to observe the unique flora found in Dwejra.

The area near the tower is called xagħri and the flora found included sagħtar, għansar, xewk abjad, tulliera ta ‘Malta, karrotta selvaġġa, xorbebb, spragg xewki, and Maltese salt flats.

The students also observed other types of flora and fauna such as the sempreviva ta ‘Għawdex (Maltese immortelle – Helichrysum melitense) which is unique to this region, zigland t’Għawdex, Maltese sea chamomile, karlina, kappar, denb il-fenek and ġiżi ta ‘Malta.

Lizards, ants, beetles, snails and birds were among the wildlife observed by the students. As they visited a freshwater pool, known as il-qattara, more flora and fauna were observed. The swimming pool is fed by a streaming source which escapes from the walls.

The last stop was Fuq it-tieqa and Fuq il-Qawra where many endemic plants were seen, such as salt trees and immortal plants.

At the end of the study visit, the students were to discuss the human impact on this area.

They noted that Dwejra is extremely fragile to interference from human impact, ranging from buildings, parking lots, shops and quarries to sightseeing.

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