Picture by our member Mark Gash (licensed to hold & capture for recording purposes)

Which Species are protected under UK law?

All wild birds, many plants and animals, insects, fish and others such as amphibians are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). The level of protection ranges from complete protection to prohibition of sale or possession of live or dead specimens.

The essential fact to remember is that all wild birds, their nests and their eggs are protected by law unless a special exception is made in the Act.

Is this the only UK protection?

Birds – No, many of the rarer birds have further Schedule 1 protectionClick here for further information

Further information to follow on other species and their protection

Which Species are protected under European law?


Bats (all species)

Common Otter

Dolphins, porpoises and whales (all species)


Great crested newt (or warty)

Large Blue Butterfly

Marine Turtles

Natterjack Toad

Sand Lizard

Smooth Snake


Wild cat

Pool Frog

White-clawed Crayfish

Fisher’s Estuarine Moth

Lesser Whirlpool Rams-horn Snail

Marine Turtle


Creeping Marshwort

Early Gentian

Fen Orchid

Floating leaved water Plantain

Killarney Fern

Lady’s Slipper

Shore Dock

Slender Naiad

Yellow Marsh Saxifrage

Is this all the information we need to know?

  1. This is our quick and very short version of the protected species help page. As this subject covers quite a lot of information and from many sources, we’ll be collating all the information carefully before adding all the information to this page.


If you are in any doubt or would like further information or clarification please don’t hesitate to contact the Defra Helpline on;

08459 33 55 77

Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm