A licence allows somebody to carry out an action in relation to a protected species that might otherwise be against the law. Follow the links below to find out more about licensing for different types of plant and animal.
Licences can only be issued for specific purposes . Following the introduction of the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011, Scottish Natural Heritage is now responsible for all wildlife licensing in Scotland (with the exception of licensing for seals and some areas of licensing for whales and dolphins).
Note: Amendments have been made to the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 which came into force on 1 January 2013. This Act regulates procedures that are carried out on certain animals for scientific research that may cause pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm. Thus, you may need a licence under this 1986 Act in addition to a protected species licence if your proposal is likely to cause pain, etc..
Where possible, supporting documentation should be e-mailed to the species licensing team making a clear reference to your licence application.
Common queries have been answered in our list of frequently asked questions .
Otherwise, you can speak to a licensing officer via our general enquiries line on 01463 725 364 or email the species licensing team.
If you have a query in relation to bats in your house which is not related to development, please ring our Bats in Houses helpline on 01463 725 165 or email email@example.com.
Several of our plants and fungi are protected. Find out what needs a licence and how to apply for one.
A number of mammals from bats to water voles are protected. Find out what needs a licence and how to apply for one.
Find information on when you need an authorisation to cull deer, the 'Fit and Competent Register', venison dealer returns and statutory returns
All wild birds are protected. Find out what needs a licence and how to apply for one.
Most of our amphibians and reptiles are protected. Find out what needs a licence and how to apply for one.
A few of our fish are protected. Find out what needs a licence and how to apply for one.
Several invertebrate species are protected. Find out what needs a licence and how to apply for one.
Find information on the licensing of muirburn out of season.
Certain animals and plants in Scotland are given strict protection as European Protected Species. Find out more about licensing and these species.
Use our A-Z list to find guidance and information on a particular species.
Licence application forms, guidance notes and licensing information.
What is new in licensing ?
Information on non-native species licensing