Species Champion asks Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) to lend political support to the protection of Scotland’s threatened wildlife by becoming ‘Species Champions.’ The project is supported by Calum Langdale, LINK Species Champion Coordinator supporting the LINK’s Wildlife Subgroup in the development of the initiative. Calum can be contacted via email here.
At present, 102 MSPs have become Species Champions. On these pages:
- Find out if your MSP is a Species Champion
- 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, Species Champion for Woolly willow and Alpine-blue sow thistle, 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!’’
MSPs are learning about their species 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 from expert member organisations of the Scottish Environment LINK. 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 in September of that year. It has inspired similar programmes in Wales, Northern Ireland and England as well as Scottish local authorities.
View the latest Species Champion Newsletter here.
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.
How to become a Species Champion
If you are an MSP who would like to become a Species Champion, please get in touch with LINK by email at email@example.com or phone 0131 225 4345 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.
Third Force News: 100 days of action for Scotland’s endangered species
Third Force News; Scotland’s dedicated daily news outlet for charities and voluntary organisations has featured the recent Species Champion 100 Day Challenge, detailing the challenge and also specific case studies of MSPs working to champion their species. Read the article here.
Recent News Articles
Juniper and Balnaguard Glen – Daily Record, 16th January 2018
Bog Sun Jumper Spider – Daily Record, 21st July 2017
Flame shell champion honoured by Ullapool pupils – The National 4th April 2017
Gail Ross MSP named as Red Squirrel Champion – Caithness Courier 23rd September 2017
The Moss Boss and Scotland’s Species Champions – BBC News Scotland – November 5th 2014
Good Practice: Species Champions – Common Cause Blog – July 3rd 2014
Older news updates