We are working with partners to manage Scottish wildlife and to protect our natural resources for future generations.
- undertaking species management where necessary and promoting the sustainable use of species
- tackling wildlife crime through robust legislation, partnership working and other measures
- managing species reintroductions, including the recent return of beavers to Scotland
- working with a range of partners to minimise the risks and impacts of invasive non-native species
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:
- Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
- Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002
- Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004
- The Conservation (Natural Habitats Etc) Regulations 1994
- Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996
- Deer (Scotland) Act 1996
- Control of Trade In Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regs 1997
- Protection of Badgers Act 1992
- Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003
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
Area 3-G South