At present, 71 MSPs have become Species Champions. On these pages:
- Find out if your MSP is a Species Champion: why not contact them to encourage them if they are, and to urge them to participate if they are not yet.
- If you are an MSP, find out how to become a Species Champion.
- Find out more about what Champions have done since the initiative launched in 2013.
At the relaunch of Species Champions in 2016, Craig Macadam, Director of Buglife Scotland, said, “When did you last look for creepy-crawlies under a stone? How many of Scotland’s 93,000 species could you name? We’re looking for champions to rekindle our excitement about nature’s diversity and our understanding of its importance to our health, wealth and wellbeing. MSPs will learn about how they can contribute to the conservation of their species in parliament and by supporting practical action in the community.”
Graeme Dey MSP, Chair of the Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform Committee and Species Champion for Woolly willow, said “I would encourage all of my MSP colleagues, the relatively new and longer serving ones, to get involved in this programme. Not only is it highlighting a hugely important subject matter. It is also good fun!’’
Some re-elected MSPs are continuing as champions of the same species, and all MSPs are invited to join them. They are learning about their species from expert member organisations of the LINK Wildlife Forum, and about the pressures on their species and its habitat, such as such as habitat loss or fragmentation, the impact of invasive non native species, climate change and pollution. They are working with us, and together, to provide a brighter future for these species, spread that knowledge throughout Scotland’s political community and shape policy to promote and secure biodiversity.
This Scottish Environment LINK initiative was first launched in 2013, and by 2016 a parliamentary majority (76 MSPs) championed 94 Scottish species. Following the elections in May 2016, Species Champions 2020 was re-launched in the new Scottish Parliament in September. It has inspired similar programmes in Wales, Northern Ireland and England as well as Scottish local authorities.
Below is a list of Species Champions in alphabetical order of species.
The link on the MSP’s name will open their page on the Scottish Parliament website. The link on the species name will open the Species Champion factsheet with information about the species and how the champion can take action to help it.
We warmly encourage constituents and organisations to contact Champions about their species, but please copy in the sponsoring organisation listed below, whether by email or on social media. Please also inform the organisation in advance if arranging an event with a champion. This is out of courtesy to the organisations who have worked hard to recruit and brief Species Champions, but also to help you maximise communication and publicity around Species Champions’ work. Contact details may be found on the species factsheet.
How to become a Species Champion
If you are an MSP who would like to become a Species Champion, please get in touch with Eleanor Harris, Species Champion intern, by email at Eleanor.Harris@buglife.org.uk or phone 01786 460 360 to discuss a suitable species. You will be put in touch with a wildlife organisation to arrange an outing or meeting and discuss how you can help champion the species. Some of the available species are listed below:
Species Champion News
- Species Champions show their love this Valentine’s
- Champion on the prowl for nocturnal tigers!
- Rare, day-flying moth championed!
- Pine Marten championed!
- Species Champions Highly Commended at NOSA
- Species Champions hits 70!
- Species Champions short-listed for Nature of Scotland Awards
- Braes High School Falkirk Species Champion Project April 2014
Species Champions 2013-2015
In the News
- No need to Grouse November 2014
- Champions of Champions 31st October 2013
- Unloved species desperate for a date 13th February 2013
- Plea for Species Champions at Scottish Parliament 25th January 2013
Articles in the media about the Species Champion initiative:
- MSPs champion at-risk bug species, The Herald, 25th January 2013
- Politicans urged to become nature’s ‘champions’ Holyrood Magazine, 28th January 2013
- Plea for species champions in Scottish Parliament – Third Force News, 28th January 2013
- Wanted: one MSP to become Scotland’s wildcat Champion – Third Force News, January 31st 2013
- Forgotten fungi seeks love from MSP – Third Force News – February 14th 2013
- Lamont helps with butterfly conservation – Border Telegraph – February 26th 2013
- Local MSP takes North Brown Argus butterfly under his wing – The Berwickshire News – 7th March 2013
- Murdo goes batty for the Natterer – Stirling Observer – 8th March 2013
- Butterfly wings its way into MSP’s affections – East Kilbride News – 27th March 2013
- Good Practice: Species Champions – Common Cause Blog – July 3rd 2014
- The Moss Boss and Scotland’s Species Champions – BBC News Scotland – November 5th 2014