Correspondence that refers to Endangered Species: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Information requested

All ministerial correspondence from 30th August 2021 to 8th June 2023 that refers to:

  • Capercaillie
  • Red Squirrel
  • Eurasian Beaver
  • Puffin
  • Pine Marten
  • Otter
  • Wildcat
  • Twinflower
  • Scottish Wildcat
  • Mountain Hare
  • Bottlenose Dolphin

As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes.

This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.


Due to the size of the file, I have sent a copy of the information you requested to your email directly.

For ease of reference and where reasonable we have provided example copies of correspondence which has either formed part of a formal correspondence campaign or where we have handled a high number of similar correspondence in a short period of time. You will see in the attached documents that we have provided one copy of a letter with regard to Finlay the wildcat and a Ministerial response, we received 30+ pieces of correspondence with regard to the issue and each of those received a response similar to the copy I have provided. Similarly, we have provided one piece of correspondence and Ministerial response with regard to mountain hares where the focus of the correspondence has been on the Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Bill or the report by Professor Werritty on Grouse Moors and again where we received multiple pieces of correspondence regarding windfarms in Clashindarroch Forest and beaver licensing. We received between 10 and 30 pieces of correspondence and issued very similar responses on each of those issues within the requested time frame.

Furthermore, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance redactions under section 11(5) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs applies to the information. The information that has been redacted relates to the names or personal details of individuals either within the Scottish Government or externally. Where those details have been redacted we have tried to ensure the organisation they represent is clear.

Regulation 11(2) provides that where the information requested includes personal data about a person other than the applicant and disclosure would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998, the public authority shall not make that personal data available. In this instance, we consider that to reveal whether the information you have requested exists or is held by the Scottish Government would involve making personal information available about employees of the Scottish Government and individuals who have corresponded with the Scottish Government. No documents have been withheld to protect this information, but any identifying details have been removed from the documents.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

EIR - 202300360771 - information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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