Managing Wildlife

Wildlife management protects species and habitats at risk, encourages people to get outdoors, and supports local businesses and wildlife tourism. ​

Together with a wide range of organisations across Scotland, NatureScot has developed and published a Shared Approach to Wildlife Management.

NatureScot is the Scottish Government’s lead adviser on wildlife management. Our rich variety of wildlife includes deer, geese, red squirrels and salmon. Wildlife management is about species conservation, reintroductions/ translocations, encouraging people to visit the outdoors and protecting habitats. It is also about shooting and country sports, conflict resolution and collaboration.

Wildlife management decisions can be complex and uncertain – even controversial. NatureScot, together with key stakeholders, has developed a Shared Approach to Wildlife Management to set out the common ground in wildlife management. This approach will help guide wildlife management decisions and actions across many parts of Scotland.

We get involved with species like deer, geese and feral pigs. Wild deer are a valuable asset, and we have a duty to further the conservation, control and sustainable management of all wild deer species in Scotland. Wild geese are part of our nature and landscapes, but can cause significant losses to farmers and crofters. Local goose management schemes and pilots aim to balance competing interests.

NatureScot also run and are involved with projects to:

  • protect Orkney’s native wildlife by removing the non-native stoat population
  • provide guidance on habitat management to help reverse the declines in wading birds like curlews
  • protect populations of ground nesting birds by eradicating American mink from the Outer Hebrides
  • support livestock farmers and crofters who suffer impacts from sea eagles.

What is Wildlife Management?



A short video describing the range of wildlife management in which NatureScot is involved.

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