What is a Special Area of Conservation?
A Special Area of Conservation or SAC is a designated site or piece of land that is protected by law and deemed an important area in order to protect the wildlife that inhabit the area.
Special Areas of Conservation are selected and designated under the EU Habitats Directive. This Directive lists specific habitats and species that are to be protected within these SAC’s.
Most of Ireland’s designated SAC’s are located within rural areas of the island, with few exceptions such as Dublin Bay and Cork Harbour. All SAC’s across the island combined add up to around 13,500 km squared of land that is protected by law for species conservation.
Examples of Special Areas of Conservation in Ireland:
Special Areas of Conservation are mostly found within rural areas of the island, however there are some designated sites closer to urban regions such as Howth Head in Dublin and Dublin Bay (North and South). SAC’s found in rural Ireland include the Ballyhoura Mountains in Co. Limerick, Lough Gill in Co. Leitrim and Clara Bog in Co. Offaly as well as Lambay Island off the coast of Dublin!
- National Parks & Wildlife Services
- Conserve Ireland Website
- EU Habitats Directive
- Clara Bog, Offaly
- Ballyhoura Mountains, Co. Limerick
- Lough Gill, Co. Leitrim
- Lambay Island
- Dublin Bay