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Protected species A-Z guide

Protected areas can safeguard species, but some are so threatened or vulnerable that they need legal protection wherever they occur.

Explore our A–Z guide to read about Scotland’s hundreds of protected species, including our summaries of offences in relation to each.

Or view a table of protected species and the legislation that protects each of them.

Read about Protected species known to occur naturally in Scotland and their protection

Sensitive species of Scotland

Protected species that we deem ‘sensitive’ are those that are especially vulnerable to persecution or over-exploitation. We only ever publish imprecise details of their location (if known) to safeguard them from deliberate harm.

Our list of sensitive species is subject to change in line with changes in conservation status and developments in specialist knowledge.

View our list of sensitive species of Scotland

Scottish Biodiversity List

The Scottish Biodiversity List is a list of species and habitats of particular importance for the conservation of biodiversity in Scotland.

As part of their Biodiversity Duty, public bodies in Scotland are required to further the conservation of biodiversity and in particular to consider those species on the Scottish Biodiversity List.

Associated documents leading to the production of the Scottish Biodiversity List.