The Melita Foundation has supported BirdLife Malta to transform a building at the Simar Nature Reserve in Xemxija into a research centre. The centre will support BirdLife’s educational activities which are designed to help visitors better understand the ecosystem of the reserve and its importance to the Maltese environment.
Equipped with microscopes, a water quality testing centre and information about the other fauna species that inhabit the reserve including fish, shrimps and other insects, the centre provides a truly hands-on experience. This gives visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves into the different aspects of research which is carried out at the nature reserve. As part of the project a new bird hide is being built by the water’s edge, for visitors who wish to observe the reserve’s wildlife at close quarters.
Prof. Tanya Sammut-Bonnici, Chair of The Melita Foundation, said, “Birdlife Malta works tirelessly to engage the public on the importance of protecting our natural environment. Through this research centre, which The Melita Foundation has supported, a new educational experience has been created for both children and adults to learn more about the habitats of birds and other animals in Malta. It is through education that we can improve and hopefully guarantee a natural legacy for future generations.”
Mark Sultana, CEO at Birdlife Malta, said, “Research and education are key components of our work to protect birds and the ecosystems that support them. The Simar Reserve is an amazing site which we have been working on since 1992. It is now teeming with wildlife including aquatic birds like herons, rails and kingfishers as well as providing a home for the rare and protected Mediterranean Killifish and species of rare tassel-weed. Thanks to The Melita Foundation, the site now boasts a great research centre which will help us to further improve the reserve for all visitors.”
Entrance to Simar Nature Reserve is free and is open to the public from May to September, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.