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Some of Scotland’s most iconic species – and many more unusual ones – are at home on Scotland's national forests and land. Thanks to our efforts, they are looking forward to a more secure future. For example, we have identified particularly vulnerable species of plants and animals, and take special conservation action. This includes planning our work to cause the least disturbance to breeding birds and priority mammals.

We’re also creating and enhancing specialist habitats for a wide range of species, including lesser-known butterflies, insects, fish, amphibians and rare plants.

Osprey standing on a nest

Photo by Pete Cairns © Forestry and Land Scotland

Conservation stories

Red squirrel clinging to the side of a tree trunkRed squirrels on Arran

Our forests on the Isle of Arran are an important stronghold for a large, thriving red squirrel population.

Red squirrels on Arran


A water vole hiding on a grassy riverbankReturn of the water vole

An ambitious reintroduction programme has saved the water vole from the edge of extinction in Scotland.

Return of the water vole


A wildcat walking across rough groundSaving Scotland's wildcats

Forest management creates a mosaic of habitats that are attractive for wildcats.

Saving Scotland's wildcats


A capercaillie on a forest roadCapercaillie conservation

Surprisingly, forests managed for timber production provide an excellent habitat for capercaillie.

Capercaillie conservation


A white-tailed eagle standing in a nestWhite-tailed eagle conservation

Learn how we plan our work to protect known nest sites during the breeding season.

White-tailed eagle conservation


A goshawk standing on a carcassGoshawks and the working forest

One of our most threatened birds of prey, but our largest forests are helping them stage a remarkable recovery

Goshawks and the working forest


A great crested newt swimming underwaterHelping the great crested newt

Our work is planned to ensure minimum disturbance to these rare newts, particularly in the breeding season.

Helping the great crested newt


A salmon leaping up a waterfall (taken by Walter Baxter, Geograph)Fishing and forestry

Prompted by the decline of many iconic wildlife species and the loss of important watery habitats, we now work in close partnership with fishery managers.

Fishing and forestry


A butterfly on a flowerButterflies and conservation grazing

Some of Scotland's butterfly species are so rare, we’ve had to bring in a secret weapon to help save them from extinction!

Butterflies and conservation grazing


A pine hoverfly on a leafPine hoverfly conservation

One of the rarest species in Scotland, this small fly used to thrive in pinewoods across the country. Today it can only be found at one or two sites.

Pine hoverfly conservation


A juniper tree with lochs and hills in the backgroundProtecting Scotland's juniper

Already in serious decline, juniper now faces a new threat from the deadly disease, Phytophthora austrocedrae.

Protecting Scotland's juniper