European Protected Species

European Protected Species are animals and plants that are listed in Annex IV of the European Habitats Directive. As such, they receive protection in the UK under the following Regulations: 

For England and Wales:
Regulation 41 of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2010)
For Scotland:
Regulation 39 of The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations (1994)(as amended).
For Northern Ireland:
Regulation 39 of The Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) (1995) (as amended). 

For European protected species, it is a criminal offence to:

                Deliberately* capture, injure or kill any such animal
                Deliberately* disturb wild animals of any species
                Deliberately* take or destroy their eggs;
                Damage or destroy** a breeding or resting place of such an animal;
                Have in one's possession or control, any live or dead animal;
                Deliberately pick, collect, cut, uproot or destroy a wild plant;
                For any purpose to possess, sell or exchange such a plant.
*  In Scotland, in addition to 'deliberate' acts, an offence is is also committed when a person acts ‘recklessly’.
** In Scotland, it is also an offence to obstruct access to a breeding site or resting place. 

The above actions can be made lawful through the granting of licenses by the appropriate authorities. Licenses may be granted for a number of purposes (such as science and education, conservation, preserving public health and safety), but only after the appropriate authority is satisfied that there are no satisfactory alternatives and that such actions will have no detrimental effect on wild population of the species concerned.