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Managing wildlife

Wildlife management protects species and habitats at risk, encourages people to get outdoors, and supports local businesses and wildlife tourism. ​

Scottish Natural Heritage is the Scottish Government’s lead adviser on wildlife management. Our rich variety of wildlife includes deer, geese, red squirrels and salmon. Wildlife management is also about shooting and country sports, conflict resolution and collaboration.

Wildlife management decisions can be complex and uncertain – even controversial. The principles set out in our Wildlife Management Framework guide our advice and action in this area. We’ve also written a statement on where we stand on wildlife welfare.

Deer are a valuable asset, and SNH has a duty to further the conservation, control and sustainable management of all wild deer species in Scotland.

Wild geese are part of our nature and landscapes, but can cause significant losses to farmers and crofters. Local goose management schemes and pilots aim to balance competing interests.

We’ve also run projects to:

  • remove Orkney’s stoat population – to protect the native wildlife
  • eradicate American mink from the Outer Hebrides – to protect populations of ground nesting birds
  • remove hedgehogs from the Uists – to protect wader populations
  • extend support to livestock farmers and crofters who suffer impacts from sea eagles

​Find out more

Reintroducing native species