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Plants and Animals

Cities in MALTA


Plants and Animals


Ancient olive trees in MaltaAncient olive trees in MaltaPhoto: PolluxWorld CC 4.0 International no changes made

There are no forests on Malta (see: location and landscape). The trees that are still present on the island have been planted by man. Olive trees, cypresses, laurel trees and almond trees are some of the species that are found. Date palms are also found, but suffer from the soil and climate.

Maltese CentauryMaltese CentauryPhoto: Jeffrey Sciberras CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Furthermore, the vegetation consists of low and thorny bushes. Poppies, orchids and gladioli, among others, bloom especially in spring. The national plant is the Maltese centaury, which is found only on Malta and grows on the cliffs near the coast. Herbs like thyme, basil, oregano and mint are also common.


Maltese LionMaltese LionPhoto: Ninostar CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Due to deforestation, drought and especially hunting, the numbers of indigenous animals have been greatly reduced. Mammals that occur include rabbits, weasels, bats and hedgehogs. Famous is the Maltese lion, a small white long-haired dog breed that was already depicted on Greek vases in ancient times.

Lark MaltaLark MaltaPhoto: Daniel Pettersson CC 2.5 Sweden no changes made

The most common native birds are the sparrow, the chaffinch, the lark, the jackdaw and the thrush. The peregrine falcon and barn owl are extinct. Hunting indigenous species and especially migratory birds is disastrous for the bird population. Protests at home and abroad have so far been to little avail.

Maltese Wall LizardMaltese Wall LizardPhoto: Pan narrans CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Malta has several species of lizards. The Maltese wall lizard is found only on the Maltese Islands. There are three species of non-poisonous snakes as well as the chameleon, which was imported from Africa in the 19th century. Fish found in the caves and grottos along the coastline include the sawfish, sea bream and grunt. Special sea inhabitants are the squid, octopus, scorpion fish and the stingray.


Boulton, S. / Malta

Cutajar, D. / Malta en Gozo
Publications Ltd.

Encarta Encyclopedie

Leeuwen, G. van / Malta

Strijbos, E. / Malta en Gozo

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles Minbuza

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info