See also: Nature reserves

Wildlife and habitats are protected because they are rare, vulnerable, or because they have a history of persecution.

Wildlife crimes are those that affect these habitats and species. Despite the legal protection unfortunately there are people who intentionally break these laws. In other cases the reckless actions of individuals can result in offences being committed.

Wildlife crime has the potential to damage and destroy some of our most important natural assets. Scottish Natural Heritage is committed to protecting our nature and landscapes and combating wildlife crime.

Tackling wildlife crime is not just about arresting criminals, it's about increasing people's awareness of the importance of our wildlife and habitats, how they are protected, the effects of wildlife crime, and how to stay within the law. Scottish Natural Heritage aims to play a key role in tackling wildlife crime by supporting prevention and enforcement of wildlife crime.