Geographic isolation of the Maltese islands has been a key factor in give rise to a rich biodiversity. Agricultural biodiversity has evolved over centuries giving rise to a rich and unique range of livestock species and plant varieties most of which have been lost throughout the years, although a few examples of such species still exist.
The Maltese Ox breed better known as "Il-Baqra Maltija" is Maltese, is a critically endangered indigenous breed and in dire need of conservation owing to the small number of remaining specimens. In fact it is listed in the FAO’s World Watch list for Domestic Animal Diversity for the year 2000 prepared by Beate D. Scherf.
This breed of Maltese Ox was utilised solely as a working animal. A few decades ago, the ox was a common farm animal however, with the introduction of mechanisation, its rearing has decreased dramatically and only a few animals survive.
Unfortunately no specimen left is 100% pure. What's the next step? Learn the lessons from the past and do anything that's possible to protect our biodiversity...even those species that might not be as important as they used to be in the past.
Reference: Rural Development Plan for Malta 2004-2006, MRRA
Last pure Maltese Ox preserved - Times of Malta