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Special Areas of Conservation

What are SACs?

A Special Area of Conservation (or SAC) is a site designated under the Habitats Directive. These sites, together with Special Protection Areas (or SPAs), are called Natura sites and they are internationally important for threatened habitats and species. Natura sites form a unique network of protected areas which stretches across Europe from the rocky coasts of Ireland in the west, to the marshes of eastern Poland, taking in the northern forests of Sweden and the volcanic lava fields of Tenerife.

SACs are selected for a number of habitats and species, both terrestrial and marine, which are listed in the Habitats Directive.

Where are SACs found?

How are SACs protected and managed?

How are SACs selected and designated?

SACs are selected for particular habitats and species which are listed in Annexes of the Habitats Directive.  The European Commission has produced an Interpretation Manual for the Annex I habitats which occur in the European Union.  There is also European involvement in the designation process for SACs and all proposed sites have to be adopted by the Commission before they can be designated by national governments.  Information about SACs is sent to the Commission in site data forms.  The official guide to completing Natura site data forms contains useful background notes to help explain their contents.

Last updated on Tuesday 23rd February 2016 at 13:43 PM. Click here to comment on this page