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Natura FAQs

Natura 2000 (including SACs and SPAs)

Q. What is the role of Scottish Ministers in the Natura 2000 process?

A. Implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directive in Scotland is the responsibility of the Scottish Government, which is committed to the full and effective implementation of the Directive through site designation and protection.

Q. What progress has been made in Scotland to implement the obligations of the EC Habitats and Birds Directives?

A. On March 17 2005, the Scottish Government formally designated as SAC all 238 of the sites in Scotland identified under the EC Habitats Directive. This represents a significant milestone in the protection of Scotland's important habitats and species, with approaching 1 million hectares now formally designated as Special Areas of Conservation. The selection and designation of terrestrial areas for the protection of bird species under the Birds Directive is largely complete.

Q. How is the condition of terrestrial European sites monitored ?

A. A report on the implementation of the Birds Directive is produced every 3 years, and every 6 years in relation to the Habitats Directive. Monitoring and surveillance of Natura sites and species undertaken is an ongoing process.

Q. Are there any plans for additional protected areas?

A. Potential additions to the Natura network will be considered as new scientific knowledge and data becomes available. Work is now underway to select and identify habitats and species considered to be in need of protection in the marine environment.