Protected species: bats

Ten species of bat are found in Scotland – and all of them receive the highest protection possible.

All bat species found in Scotland are classed as European protected species. They receive full protection under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended).

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

Discover more about bats found in Scotland.

Offences: bats

For any wild bat species, it is an offence to deliberately or recklessly:

  • capture, injure or kill a bat
  • harass a bat or group of bats
  • disturb a bat in a roost (any structure or place it uses for shelter or protection)
  • disturb a bat while it is rearing or otherwise caring for its young
  • obstruct access to a bat roost or otherwise deny an animal use of a roost
  • disturb a bat in a manner or in circumstances likely to significantly affect the local distribution or abundance of the species
  • disturb a bat in a manner or in circumstances likely to impair its ability to survive, breed or reproduce, or rear or otherwise care for its young

It’s also an offence to:

  • damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place of such an animal (whether or not deliberately or recklessly)
  • keep, transport, sell or exchange, or offer for sale or exchange any wild bat (or any part or derivative of one) obtained after 10 June 1994


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

Find out about bats and licensing.

Learn more about licensing.

Bats in Houses helpline

Contact our helpline if you think you have bats in your home.

Bats in Houses helpline
Telephone: 01463 725 165

To report an injured or grounded bat, call the Bat Conservation Trust helpline on 0845 1300 228.

Find out more

Protected species known to occur naturally in Scotland and their protection