Monach Islands SAC

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

The Monach Islands, off the Outer Hebrides, offer a wide area of largely undisturbed habitat for breeding grey seals. These islands hold the largest breeding colony in the UK, contributing over 20% of annual UK pup numbers. There is also another Marine Protected Area here which aims to protect the rich seabed. 

MPA Type

Special Area of Conservation

Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are strictly protected sites designated under European legislation. They contribute both to the UK MPA network and set up to protect habitat types and species considered to be most in need of conservation at a European level (excluding birds).

Designation date

1 October 1996

Surface Area

36.39 km2 (14.05 mi.2)

Perimeter

25.37 km (15.76 mi.)

  • Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus)

    Among the rarest seals in the world - the UK population makes up 40% of the total global population. Grey seals spend most of their life at sea, only coming ashore to breed.

Did you know?…

Over 170 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum signed up to our Marine Charter calling for a network of ‘marine protected areas’ in UK Seas

Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’

To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’

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