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Location Malta, Gozo
Central coordinates 14o 14.00' East  36o 2.00' North
IBA criteria C2, C6
Area 20 ha
Altitude 120 m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

BirdLife Malta

Site description Sheer sea cliffs (135 m high), on the island of Gozo, with profuse vegetation on some ledges.

Key Biodiversity The cliffs support the largest breeding colony of Calonectris diomedea in the Maltese islands, and are a stronghold for Monticola solitarius. One of the last known breeding pairs of Falco peregrinus in Malta nested here, but was shot in the early 1980s, and a pair of Tyto alba used to breed here in the 1970s. The rocky cliff-top area is one of the best breeding areas in Malta for Calandrella brachydactyla, Sylvia conspicillata and Miliaria calandra.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Calonectris diomedea breeding  1994  800-1,000 breeding pairs  good  C2, C6  Not Recognised 
Yelkouan Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan breeding  150-300 breeding pairs  C2, C6  Vulnerable 

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high not assessed low

Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Pollution excess energy - light pollution happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Pollution excess energy - noise pollution happening now whole area/population (>90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  Very little or no conservation action taking place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Ta'Cenc Cliffs Nature Reserve 2 protected area contained by site 2  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis  100%
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised 100%

Protection status National High International None2 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Ta'Cenc Cliffs, 2 ha).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Ta'Cenc cliffs. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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