Scotland's Species

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:02 pm on 22nd March 2006.

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Photo of Rhona Brankin Rhona Brankin Labour 3:02 pm, 22nd March 2006

The new Scottish climate change programme is due to be launched soon. A range of different criteria was considered when SNH was drawing up its list, and many of the species that are potentially at risk could be affected severely by climate change. We must consider which species are most at risk in the context of the climate that Scotland will experience in the future. I am sure that SNH would welcome any thoughts that the member has had on specific species. Climate change must be one of the factors that we consider in any plan of action for those species.

I have said that I am open to proposals being brought forward on the reintroduction of the beaver. We had a legal problem with the specific proposal to reintroduce beavers that was made last year, in view of a recent European Court of Justice judgment, and we did not believe that it was appropriate to reintroduce beavers into an area of Scotland that constituted a special area of conservation for the Atlantic oakwood. I make it clear that we are not opposed to the reintroduction of native species, which we think could make a valuable contribution to Scottish biodiversity. I look forward to receiving information not just on sea eagles but on beavers.