Research into protected species informs their conservation. But some research may involve methods that could disturb or harm protected species.

You must consider the likely impacts of your research on any of our protected species before starting any fieldwork. You may be able to avoid disturbance and damage if you follow appropriate codes of practice.

Always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

At times, the Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code may apply.

We may be able to license research activities that would otherwise constitute an offence against a protected species. If you think your methods put you at risk of breaking the law, you should find out about licensing.

Remember, it’s an offence to even keep specimens of some species or their parts – even if the species isn’t found naturally in Scotland. Read about the strict protection given to European protected species.

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