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Animal magic

Press Release   •   Apr 22, 2016 14:06 BST

The Red Deer, Red Squirrel and Harbour Seal are stars of a new interactive VisitScotland ebook revealing the viewing hotspots for Scotland’s top native wildlife.

The Scottish Wildlife Series, created by the national tourism organisation, features detailed descriptions and facts about the animals, videos of them in action and a guide of where to spot them in their natural habitat.

  • The red deer, better known as the Monarch of the Glen, is the largest land mammal in Britain and is found in the wild in Cairngorms National Park, Achray Forest, Mar Lodge Estate and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
  • The red squirrel is the UK's only native squirrel species and only 120,000 remain in Scotland today. The most common places to spot them are Aberdeenshire, Dumfries & Galloway, the central Highlands and the Cairngorms National Park.
  • There are two types of seal in Scotland, the harbour (common) seal and the grey seal. Their favourite places to swim in Scotland are the west coast, the Outer Hebrides and the northerly isles of Orkney and Shetland.

According to The Economic Impact of Wildlife Tourism in Scotland, there are more than 1.1 million wildlife trips a year to or within Scotland by visitors who are here for the primary purpose to enjoy wildlife. With 49% of respondents to the Scotland Visitor Survey 2015 citing Scotland’s scenery and landscape as their top reason for choosing to visit, it is thought the scope of wildlife tourism is significantly larger.

In that same survey, a third of participants cited Scotland’s woodlands and country parks as an activity they engaged in during their visit with a quarter including wildlife and bird watching.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

“Enjoying Scotland’s wildlife is a major part of the holiday experience for visitors and offers a big growth potential to Scottish tourism, as shown by the success and popularity of the Year of Natural Scotland.

“Scotland is home to some of the world’s most beautiful creatures which intrigue and fascinate our visitors and we hope this ebook will encourage even more to get out and explore our natural inhabitants found across the country.”

For the Wildlife series ebook, go online to

Promotional films of the ebook can be found on Youtube.

Red Deer:

Red Squirrel:

Harbour Seal:

- ENDS -

Caption: Harbour seals at Oban - credit Kenny Lam, VisitScotland

Notes to Editors

  • An intelligence guide on Wildlife Tourism in Scotland was      published in 2012 by Tourism Intelligence Scotland (in      association with Highlands & Island Enterprise, Scottish      Enterprise & VisitScotland):
  • The Scotland Visitor Survey 2015 can be found here:
  • The Economic Impact of Wildlife Tourism in Scotland can      be found here:
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  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
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