Protected species: pine martens

Pine marten are a Schedule 5 protected species. The offences that exist can differ depending on the situation.

The pine marten receives full protection under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).

Certain methods of killing or taking pine martens are illegal under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended).

Read about the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Schedules 5 and 6.

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

Discover more about the pine marten and how it lives.

Offences: wild pine marten

It is an offence to intentionally or recklessly:

  • kill, injure or take a pine marten
  • damage, destroy or obstruct access to a nest or den – i.e. any structure or place which such an animal uses for shelter or protection
  • disturb such an animal when it is occupying a nest or den for shelter or protection (except when this is inside a dwelling house)

Possession, sale and transport offences are ones of strict liability (they don't require intention or recklessness). It is an offence to:

  • possess or control, sell, offer for sale or possess or transport for the purpose of sale any living or dead pine marten or any derivative of such an animal

It is also an offence to knowingly cause or permit any of the above acts to be carried out.


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

Find out about pine martens and licensing.

Learn more about licensing.

Find out more

Protected species known to occur naturally in Scotland and their protection

Protected Species Advice for Developers: Pine marten


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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