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Species licensing legislation

Certain legislation sets out specific offences in relation to protected species. Licences permit actions that would otherwise be illegal.

Scotland’s wildlife is protected chiefly by the:

The legislation above sets out specific offences in relation to protected species of animal, including birds and plants. There are various exceptions to these offences.

Each piece of legislation gives specific purposes for which licences can be granted. It also identifies the ‘appropriate authority’ responsible for assessing licence applications for each purpose.

Discover the specific offences listed for each protected species.

Learn about licensing requirements in our species licensing guides.