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news > Potential changes to Schedule 5 of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act could threaten the recovery of the pine marten

29th June 2021

Every five years, species with full legal protection on Schedules 5 and 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) are reviewed through a process called the Quinquennial Review (QQR), coordinated by the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).

This year, in a change to the normal process, the Review Group (JNCC, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, NatureScot, and representatives of the non-governmental sector) has changed the eligibility criteria for inclusion in these schedules and therefore the protection afforded by the Wildlife and Countryside Act. This change means that species will only be protected when they are considered to be in imminent danger of extinction as defined by the highest categories in the IUCN red listing process, or those identified as European Protected Species. The pine marten is one of the species which currently has full legal protection under the Act but may lose this as a result of population increases in recent years in Scotland.

VWT has submitted evidence to JNCC in support of the pine marten remaining on Schedule 5, in a statement that can be read here.


Photo: ©Jason Hornblow

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