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Title of the project

Reinstating the Barn Owl as a local breeding bird using ex-situ conservation methods in Malta


Project objectives:

– To commence a captive breeding project for the Barn Owl (Tyto alba), on a parcel of land adjacent to the Razzett tal-Bag─žal at Buskett which is managed by the FKNK (National Hunting Association Malta). The species is known to reproduce at a steady rate in captivity and large numbers in offspring can thus be obtained for each of the species. This project also serve as a means to perform ex-situ conservation of these birds by releasing captive bred specimens into the wild.
– To re-establish a viable breeding population of the Barn Owl. This will be monitored through population census of the released specimen in the wild.
– To improve the local conservation status of the Barn Owl.
– Practical experience for the yearly release of captive bred species will also be achieved.

– To increase awareness about this species through the provision of technical information to the public via consultation with local and foreign experts and through awareness campaigns.
– Any hazard to the captive bred birds from vermin and other predators are addressed through the use of humane traps and preventive measures. Since captive bred birds suffer from high anxiety levels especially during the breeding period, disturbances from third parties are kept to a minimum through security measures.
– Creation of action plans to ensure that the objectives of this project will be maintained after the termination date.

Concrete conservation actions
– Construction/refurbishment of stonework and structure for breeding facilities for Barn Owl
– Purchase of all necessary equipment, furniture, fixtures and fittings
– Ensuring appropriate aviaries, suitable for nesting and breeding
– Identification of suitable receptor sites for Tyto alba
– Selection of the correct genetic stock of Tyto alba that is best suitable for integration in the Maltese islands once released
– Monitoring of bird behaviour in aviary and pens and their habits in relation to their behaviour in the wild
– Monitoring of bird behaviour once first generation is released and extend research to cater for the patterns taken by these released birds
– Implementation of marking scheme

Read more here:

Razzett tal-Baghal – Barn Owl FKNK Proposal

Barn owl Project Proposal June 2015

Press Release


Expected results (outputs and quantified achievements): Improve the local conservation status of the Barn Owl. Establishment of a breeding population of Barn owl (currently non-existent) will also have a beneficial effect with regards prey species populations. Increase hunters and trappers awareness towards protected species and promote self regulation practice. Increased practical knowledge that can be employed in future introductions in local environment. A local pool of experts in captive breeding and release will be established at the end of the project, who in turn can see to the continuation of similar projects of conservation.


Country Malta
Level National
Site Buskett Gardens Rabat Malta

Starting date


Habitat Types

Farmland, Forest/Woodland, Scrub/Grassland, Coastal, Island

Protection status of the areas

Natura 2000, National protected area, Areas with voluntary or mandatory hunting ban


Species Caracteristics Protected species, Migratory species
Species Type Birds
Name(s) of main species Barn Owl (Tyto alba alba)

Conservation action(s)

Management of habitats and wildlife (e.g. conservation and restoration activities), Research and data collection (e.g. monitoring, bag data), Communication and education (for different target audiences e.g. hunters, the wider public)


Leading partners The Federation for Hunting & Conservation - Malta (FKNK); Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WBRU) and PARKS Department (both within the Ministry of Agriculture)

Estimation of the budget (total or annual)

Total Estimate = 100,000 euro

Estimation of Human Resources needed

1 employee for 20 hours/week


http://www.biodiversitymanifesto.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Razzett-tal-Baghal-Barn-Owl-FKNK-Proposal.pdf http://www.biodiversitymanifesto.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Barn-owl-Project-Proposal-June-2015.pdf http://www.biodiversitymanifesto.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Press-Release.pdf


https://www.facebook.com/fknkmalta/videos/2085270538168120/ https://www.facebook.com/fknkmalta/posts/2082740288421145