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The Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations

The Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations  PDF document   and the accompanying Best Practice Guidelines for Conservation Translocations in Scotland  were launched by Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, on the 4th July 2014.  They have been produced by the National Species Reintroduction Forum (NSRF).

Conservation translocation refers to the deliberate movement and release of living organisms for conservation purposes. Translocations represent just one type of conservation action. In most circumstances, management of species in their current localities, and wider habitat management, will be more cost-effective and lower risk. However, there are some situations where conservation translocations are appropriate. The Code and Best Practice Guidelines provide a framework for evaluating whether and how to undertake such conservation translocations in Scotland.

We believe that the Code and Best Practice Guidelines are the first of their type.  They are based on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's 2013 Guidelines for Reintroductions and Other Conservation Translocations, but they provide a special focus on both Scottish socio-economic and biological issues. The significant involvement and approval of 26 different members of the NSRF also means that they represent an approach that has been agreed across a wide range of conservation and land use organisations.

The documents

You can download the Code and Best Practice Guidelines here:

Translocation project form and licence application

In the Best Practice Guidelines you will find a description of a 'Translocation Project Form'. This is structured so that practitioners can record what has been translocated, where it came from and where it was released, as well as the expected benefits, necessary permits and permissions, and steps taken to reduce the risk of negative outcomes. It is based on the framework introduced in chapter 3 of the Best Practice Guidelines.

In general it is recommended that the form is used for all conservation translocations. It has been designed to harmonise with SNH's species licensing process and should also be used for any formal licensing applications to SNH which involve a conservation translocation (and when consulting with SNH and other agencies during the planning of a translocation).

You can download a Word version of the Translocation Project Form here:

  • Translocation Project Form  Word document The Best Practice Guidelines gives an example of a completed Translocation Project Form for a low-risk translocation.

Further information and advice

The Best Practice Guidelines provides a wide range of information, including links to organisations who can provide further advice. Staff at SNH can also provide advice, and you can contact us at

Last updated on Monday 11th January 2016 at 16:20 PM. Click here to comment on this page