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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

© Peter Cairns/2020VISION

Conservation stories

European beaver Lorne Gill LGD1439Return of the beaver

Beavers were designated as a European Protected Species in May 2019 and are making a comeback in Scotland.

Return of the beaver


red squirrel on bird feederRed 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


River flowing through woodlandReturn 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


Scottish wildcatSaving Scotland's wildcats

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

Saving Scotland's wildcats


Capercaillie amongst heatherCapercaillie conservation

Surprisingly, forests managed for timber production provide an excellent habitat for capercaillie. Photo © Luke Massey/2020VISION 

Capercaillie conservation


a white tailed eagle flying with a fishWhite-tailed eagle conservation

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

White-tailed eagle conservation


GoshawkGoshawks 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


Great crested newtHelping 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


Rainbow trout swimming in sun dappled waterFishing 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. Photo © Alexander Mustard/2020VISION

Fishing and forestry


Orange butterflyButterflies 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


Lodgepole pine needlesPine 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


Juniper berriesProtecting Scotland's juniper

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

Protecting Scotland's juniper