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Species licensing

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  PDF document . 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 external site  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.

Licensing queries

Common queries have been answered in our list of frequently asked questions  PDF document

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 batsinhouses@snh.gov.uk.

Scottish Primrose (Primula scotica). İLorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Plant licensing

Several of our plants and fungi are protected. Find out what needs a licence and how to apply for one.

Captive European Otter (Lutra lutra). İLorne Gill. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Mammal (non deer) licensing

A number of mammals from bats to water voles are protected. Find out what needs a licence and how to apply for one.

Deer Stalker, early morning, with trees and mountains in the distance. İSNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk.

Deer licensing

Find information on when you need an authorisation to cull deer, the 'Fit and Competent Register', venison dealer returns and statutory returns

Lesser black-backed gull. İLorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 458541 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

Bird licensing

All wild birds are protected. Find out what needs a licence and how to apply for one.

Natterjack Toad. İSNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Amphibian and reptile licensing

Most of our amphibians and reptiles are protected. Find out what needs a licence and how to apply for one.

A female Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) leaping up a waterfall, River Almond, Tayside and Clackmannanshire Area. İLorne Gill. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Fish licensing

A few of our fish are protected. Find out what needs a licence and how to apply for one.

Pearl bordered fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne) butterfly. İLorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Invertebrate licensing

Several invertebrate species are protected. Find out what needs a licence and how to apply for one.

gatewaymonday - Muirburn patterns on a heather covered hill near Abington, Southern Uplands._İP&A Macdonald/SNH_For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Muirburn licensing

Find information on the licensing of muirburn out of season.

wildcat (gateway) - Captive Scottish Wildcat (Felix sylvestris) at the Highland Wildlife Park, East Highland Area. İLorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

European protected species licensing

Certain animals and plants in Scotland are given strict protection as European Protected Species. Find out more about licensing and these species.

Grey Seal. İLorne Gill. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Species licensing A-Z

Use our A-Z list to find guidance and information on a particular species.

 İLorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Forms and guidance

Licence application forms, guidance notes and licensing information.

RedSquirrel-D1912a.jpg (Red Squirrel) (gateway) - Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) feeding on a fallen log at Morton Loch, Forth and Borders Area. �Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Licensing news

What is new in licensing ?

Rhododendron ponticum. İLorne Gill/SNH .For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Non-native species licensing

Information on non-native species licensing