Guidance for seabird research licence applications
The objectives in issuing this guidance are:
- To ensure licence applications are supported by all necessary information required by NatureScot advisors to make robust assessments of the individual application, as well as in-combination with other plans or projects,
- To minimise the likelihood of NatureScot having to subsequently contact applicants for further information,
- To minimise the time taken to process and issue licences.
The following points detail the information NatureScot Licensing expect to be provided in a seabird research licence application. These points are for guidance only and are not an indication of the order in which the information should be presented in the licence application.
- Full contact details of the individual who will be the licence holder; including full name, address (work or home), email address and telephone number.
- If this is your first licence application for bird research, we require two references. Your referees should be familiar with your work in this area and be able to vouch for your competence. Download the licence application reference form.
- Please provide a short summary of the purpose of the proposed work and justification for why the research is necessary.
- Please provide details of the proposed activity requiring a licence, including species, numbers of individuals targeted, life stage and actions (e.g. disturb or take).
- Please provide details of alternatives to the proposed licensable activities in order to carry out the research that have been tried or considered, with an explanation of why these alternatives are not suitable.
- Which months (inclusive) of the year are you planning on doing the work? Provide start and finish dates if known.
- Please provide details of how many days you will be in the field undertaking the work, how long you anticipate being on site each day and how long processing birds will take (if applicable). A worst and best case scenario is helpful for us to assess potential disturbance risk.
- At which location(s) do you propose to undertake the work? The more detailed you can be on this, the more specific we can be in our advice. Maps and locations (including a six-figure grid reference, e.g. NM123456) are helpful, particularly from an National Nature Reserve (NNR) management perspective.
- What methods will you be using and why?
- Please provide details of all researchers involved in the fieldwork, including how many people will be undertaking the work in the field at any one time. This enables us to assess potential disturbance risk. In addition, please detail the level of experience researchers undertaking the work have. If researchers have limited experience of working in seabird colonies/using the methods you propose, please provide details on how they will be supported/assisted.
- What mitigation have you incorporated in your methods/experimental design to minimise potential risk of injury, mortality and disturbance of target and non-target species? Consideration should be given to potential risks to species at the target field site and also on transit to the target field site.
- Please provide details of your monitoring plan (of both target and non-target species) to ensure mitigation is proving effective and your research activities are not having a negative effect. Include how potential negative effects will be detected, and if detected, what actions will be taken. All negative impacts are required to be reported immediately to NNR staff (if the study location is within an NNR).
- Please provide any evidence underpinning the licence application, including reports, peer-reviewed scientific papers, etc.
- Please provide licence references for any previous and/or associated licence applications connected with your work.
If you already have a licence number, include it in the subject line of your email, or have it to hand when you call.