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Protected species licensing

Support provided by NatureScot

What does this involve?

Wildlife can sometimes cause problems for businesses - for example, causing damage or posing a health and safety risk. Certain activities may also harm or disturb a protected species.

NatureScot provides advice on what you'll need to do if your business activities may affect protected species, or if a species is causing problems for your business. They can also provide a licence for actions that would otherwise constitute an offence against a protected species.

Before applying for a licence for the first time, read NatureScot's general information about the licensing process and explore the A–Z guide to find out about licensing for a specific protected species, including how to apply for each type of licence.

Not all of the licences require you to submit a licence application form - often an email is all that is needed. Each species licensing guide tells you how to apply for licences for that species.

Am I eligible?

Licences are granted for specific purposes, and the legal protection for different species varies. Whether to grant a licence is determined on a case-by-case basis. NatureScot's species licensing guides will help you find out about licensing for a specific protected species.

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

Anyone can apply for a species licence in Scotland.

How long does this take?

Processing times vary by licence type, and they also depend on the quality of the application forms and supporting documents provided.

Next steps

Visit the NatureScot website to view the species licensing guides and find out how to apply for licences for different species.

Support provided by NatureScot