Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)
Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are areas designated under the EC Habitats Directive to give increased protection to variety of wild animals, plants and habitats. The designation of these sites requires both the implementation of conservation measures which correspond to the ecological requirements of Annex I 'habitats' and Annex II 'species' present on the site and taking appropriate steps to avoid the deterioration of the natural habitats and habitats of species, as well as eliminating significant disturbance of species for which the site is designated. As of January 2016 there were 243 SACs, including 40 marine SACs, affording protection to 53 habitat interests and 18 species.
Special Areas of Conservation are selected in accordance with criteria set out in the Habitats Directive for the range of habitat types and habitats of certain species listed in Annexes I and II of the Directive.