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 500,000 records of undersea species and habitats have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers

Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns

An area over 9 times the size of Wales is now in marine protected areas in the UK, but less than 1% is considered by MCS scientists to be well managed