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Scottish Biodiversity

Scotland is a special place for biodiversity - not only for the sheer number of species it supports, but also for its complex mosaic of habitats and scenery which makes up our rich and varied landscape.

A rich and varied landscape

Approximately 90,000 species of animal, plant and microbes live in Scotland.  These are supported by our many habitats and varied landscape - from mountains and moorland through rivers, lochs, forests and farmland to our coasts and seas, and even in our towns and cities.

Our national and international assets

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

Specially Scottish

Two very special assets make Scotland's biodiversity distinctive:

  • Our clean seas, slightly warmed by the Gulf Stream, are highly productive and extraordinarily rich in species.
  • On land our abundant semi-natural vegetation and rich underlying geology provide extensive and varied habitats for native plants and animals to thrive.

Uniquely Scottish

As the British Isles were connected to Europe quite recently there has not been sufficient time for lots of endemic species to evolve.  We do however have a few such as the Scottish crossbill external site and Scottish primrose external site , which are found nowhere else on the planet!



Last updated on Thursday 2nd March 2017 at 11:25 AM. Click here to comment on this page