Biodiversity in Scotland

Scotlands biodiversity is rich and unique. 

Approximately 90,000 species of animal, plant and microbes live in Scotland. These are supported by the rich mosaic of habitats that make up Scotland’s varied landscape - from mountains and moorland through rivers, lochs, forests and farmland to coasts and seas, and even in towns and cities.

Scotland is internationally important for its heather moorland and bogs, Atlantic oak woodlands and machair, and its freshwater and sealochs. The Estuaries are used by large numbers of migratory waders and wildfowl, whilst the seas support hundreds of species of fish, amazing populations of seabirds and a range of fascinating mammals: seals, whales and dolphins.

Scotland is home to many species found nowhere else in the UK, for example the Great Yellow Bumblebee, and the Capercaillie.There are also a couple of endemic species, only found in Scotland, the Scottish Crossbill and the Scottish Primrose.

In 2004, the Scottish Government produced Scotlands Biodiversity:It's in your hands - the first strategy for the conservation of biodiversity in Scotland. Since then, it has been reviewed and updated, and there is now a new challenge: to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2020.

More information on biodiversity in Scotland can be found in the SNH’s biodiversity pages.