Special Areas of Conservation are established under the European Union’s Habitats Directive 1992 as the best examples in Europe of a suite of listed habitats.
One of the features for which the Isles of Scilly were selected as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) are their rich infaunal communities of intertidal and subtidal marine sediment.
The Directive requires a SAC to be monitored at least every six years to ensure that the features for which it was selected are being conserved.
The objectives of this study carried out in September 2009 were to repeat the surveys of the sites sampled in 2000 and 2004 using the same methodology and to highlight differences and offer possible explanations and recommendations.
The results will inform the site managers as to any changes that may need to be made to the future management of the SAC.
This report is being published to inform managers and to allow others to review the work as well as to develop and adapt monitoring programmes for this and other SACs.