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Special protection areas

Special protection areas (SPAs) are areas designated (or ‘classified’) under the European Union Wild Birds Directive.

Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites classified for rare and vulnerable birds and for regularly occurring migratory species. These species are considered to be of European importance.

SPAs can be located on land and/or at sea.

Together with Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), which are designated for habitats and species, SPAs form part of the ‘Natura 2000’ network (external link).

Natural Resources Wales advise us on the designation of areas of land and sea which are of national and international importance for wildlife.

On consideration of the advice received, Welsh Ministers decide whether to classify or make changes to SPAs.

Visit: Joint Nature Conservation Committee: Special Areas of Protection in Wales or Natural Resources Wales: Protected sites (external link).