We are working with partners to manage Scottish wildlife and to protect our natural resources for future generations.


We are:


Wildlife inspires and enriches our lives, contributes to our wellbeing and underpins the ecosystems that we need to survive.

We meet our national and international obligations to conserve rare and vulnerable species by:

  • making sure they are protected and managed in a fair and humane way
  • addressing wildlife crime through co-ordinated enforcement
  • managing conflicts between mankind and wildlife where they arise
  • protecting wildlife from cruel or inappropriate management activities

We work closely with NatureScot (previously known as Scottish Natural Heritage), our lead advisory body on nature, wildlife management and landscape across Scotland.

Information on species licensing is available on the Scottish Natural Heritage website. 

Bills and legislation

Wildlife legislation is complex and spread across several different Acts. Key pieces of legislation include:

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 has been amended on numerous occasions, with the most significant recent changes made by the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011.


Wildlife Management and Protected Areas Branch
Scottish Government
Area 3-G South
Victoria Quay

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