Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations

Conservation translocation is a catch-all term for the deliberate movement and release of living organisms for conservation purpose.

Translocation may not always be the most suitable conservation action. Management of species in their current localities, and wider habitat management, will generally be more cost-effective and lower risk.

Reintroduction projects are usually complex. The Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations provides a framework for how to assess and plan conservation translocations in Scotland.

It sets out when conservation translocations may be appropriate and situations in which they may benefit or cause problems for wildlife, people and the environment.

Read about:

The Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations - Best practice guidelines

The National Species Reintroduction Forum produced the documents, published in July 2014. Though based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) document: Guidelines for Reintroductions and Other Conservation Translocations, they have a definite Scottish focus.

Translocation project form

Use this form for all conservation translocations, and to consult with NatureScot and others when planning a translocation.

You should also use the form for any licensing applications to NatureScot that involve a conservation translocation. It’s been designed to complement our species licensing process.

Download the Translocation project form

The form lets you record:

  • what has been translocated
  • where it came from
  • where it was released
  • the expected benefits
  • necessary permits and permissions
  • steps taken to reduce the risk of negative outcomes

It is based on the framework introduced in chapter 3 of the Best Practice Guidelines above. This document also gives an example of a completed translocation project form for a low-risk translocation.

Past translocations

NatureScot has been involved in several conservation translocations, the most high profile of which was the reintroduction of beavers to Scotland.

Our Beavers in Scotland report is one of the most thorough assessments ever done for a species reintroduction proposal.


The Best Practice Guidelines contain a wide range of information including links to organisations who can give further advice. 

You can also contact us for advice on conservation translocations.

Email: [email protected]

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