The Group area is of high conservation value and very heavily designated, containing a number of high profile sites of national importance. Deer management is potentially relevant to many of these. A total of 10,502.9 ha (32% of the Group Area) is designated as Strathglass Complex Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and as Glen Affric Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) covering 2262.3 ha and Affric-Cannich Hills SSSI covering 8240.52 ha.
o Part of the area is designated under the Glen Affric to Strathconon Special Protection Area (SPA).
o Much of the area falls within Glen Affric National Scenic Area (NSA) and also Kintail National Scenic Area.
o Glen Affric is a National Nature Reserve (14,360 ha)
Strathglass Complex SAC has extensive northern Atlantic wet heaths and is especially notable for the extensive development of a northern form of wet heath at high altitude. These have abundant Cladonia lichens, woolly fringe-moss Racomitrium lanuginosum, alpine bearberry Arctostaphylos alpina, dwarf birch Betula nana and crowberry Empetrum nigrum. It has the second-largest area of Alpine and Boreal heaths after the Cairngorms and the largest extent of the Alpine and Boreal heaths in the north-west Highlands.
Strathglass is the best representative of Sub-Arctic Salix spp. scrub Salix lapponum – Luzula sylvatica scrub. This occurs in a series of localities in two widely separated corries, and scattered plants also occur in a few other places. The main occurrences are on ungrazed rock ledges, on steep rocky ground (including boulder fields) and on open slopes, where the willows are heavily grazed.
The Affric-Cannich Hills within Strathglass Complex have the second-largest extent of Siliceous alpine and boreal grasslands in the UK, and are representative of the habitat type in the north-west Highlands.
The Caledonian forest areas in Strathglass Complex are some of the largest remaining intact stands of native pinewood in Scotland. Glens Strathfarrar and Affric are the most important pinewoods in the UK for the epiphytic lichen communities they support. A number of nationally rare lichen species occur in the woods, including Bryoria furcellata and Pannaria ignobilis. Birds typical of Caledonian forest, including capercaillie Tetrao urogallus and Scottish crossbill Loxia scotica, are represented.