Protected species: bats

Ten species of bat are found in Scotland – and all of them receive the highest protection possible.

There is no change to the protection of European protected species as a result of EU Exit.

All bat species found in Scotland are classed as European protected species. They receive full protection under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended).

You can see our summary of offences in relation to these protected species below. For the definitive list of offences, you should consult the actual legislation.

Discover more about bats found in Scotland.

Offences: bats

For any wild bat species, it is an offence to deliberately or recklessly:

  • capture, injure or kill a bat
  • harass a bat or group of bats
  • disturb a bat in a roost (any structure or place it uses for shelter or protection)
  • disturb a bat while it is rearing or otherwise caring for its young
  • obstruct access to a bat roost or otherwise deny an animal use of a roost
  • disturb a bat in a manner or in circumstances likely to significantly affect the local distribution or abundance of the species
  • disturb a bat in a manner or in circumstances likely to impair its ability to survive, breed or reproduce, or rear or otherwise care for its young
  • disturb a bat while it is migrating or hibernating

It’s also an offence to:

  • damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place of such an animal (whether or not deliberately or recklessly)
  • keep, transport, sell or exchange, or offer for sale or exchange any wild bat (or any part or derivative of one) obtained after 10 June 1994


Licensing allows named individuals to carry out actions that could otherwise constitute an offence. If you’re planning any activities that could affect bats or their roosts, you must make sure you stay within the law.

Find out about bats and licensing.

Learn more about licensing.

Bats in Houses helpline

You can contact our helpline if you have bats in your home and they are causing a public health and safety issue. Find out more about the Bats in Houses service.

Telephone: 01463 725 165
Email: [email protected]

For minor or major home developments, renovations and repairs that could have an impact on roosting bats, see Bats: licences for development.

To report an injured or grounded bat, call the Bat Conservation Trust helpline on 0845 1300 228 or the SSPCA on 0300 0999 999.

Find out more

Protected species known to occur naturally in Scotland and their protection


If you already have a licence number, include it in the subject line of your email, or have it to hand when you call.

Licensing Team

01463 725364

[email protected]

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