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Species protection under the Habitats Regulations 1994

The Habitats Regulations 1994 external site  (as amended in Scotland) implement the species protection requirements of the Habitats Directive in Scotland on land and inshore waters (0-12 nautical miles).  Following a European Court of Justice ruling against the UK Member State in 2005, there have been several amendments to the Regulations which apply only to Scotland (including in 2004 external site , 2007 external site , 2008(a) external site , 2008(b) external site , 2011 external site   and 2012 external site ).  Thus, the Scottish Regulations do not mirror the 2010 Regulations external site  which apply in England and Wales.

Schedules to the Habitats Regulations

There are various Schedules attached to the Habitats Regulations including:

  • Schedule 2  PDF document  - European protected species of animals
  • Schedule 3  PDF document  - those animals in Annex V of the Habitats and Species Directive whose natural range includes Great Britain
  • Schedule 4  PDF document - European protected species of plants.

The protection afforded to species listed on these Schedules varies.  Only some of the species listed on these Schedules occur in Scotland.  Please refer to our protected species table  PDF document to identify these species. 

Part II of the Habitats Regulations concerns the protection of certain habitats and the habitats of species within European sites.  This part of the Regulations describes how Special Areas of Conservation are selected and designated.  These protected sites may be designated for habitats listed on Annex I, or species listed on Annex II of the Habitats Directive (for example, otter). 

Part III of the Habitats Regulations details the protection given to European protected species of animals and plants.  This section also describes the licensing system which allows otherwise illegal activities to be carried out. 

Last updated on Wednesday 24th February 2016 at 10:03 AM. Click here to comment on this page