Scotland is home to some of the most stunning wildlife found anywhere in the UK but many of these species are sadly rare or endangered.

From the Highlands and Islands to the Scottish Borders, there are plenty of animals out there that will blow you away.

If you are interested in learning more about Scotland's wildlife or simply want to know how rare some of our most iconic animals are, look no further.

See some of Scotland's rarest and most endangered animals

Helensburgh Advertiser: The red squirrel is under threat from the invasive grey squirrel (Getty)The red squirrel is under threat from the invasive grey squirrel (Getty) (Image: Getty)

The Red Squirrel

According to the wildlife charity Scottish Squirrel, this species, which is native to Scotland and the British Isles, is severely threatened by the invasive grey squirrel.

Grey squirrels were introduced from North America in the 19th century and are said to be larger and more robust, allowing them to outcompete the smaller red squirrel for food.

Sadly, there are as few as 120,000 red squirrels remaining in Scotland with many of these animals residing in the conifer forests of Dumfries and Galloway and Caledonian pine forests of the Highlands.

Beavers

Helensburgh Advertiser: The Eurasian beaver was reintroduced to Scotland in 2009 (Getty)The Eurasian beaver was reintroduced to Scotland in 2009 (Getty) (Image: Getty)

Beavers, which have legal protection in Scotland under the Habitats Regulations Act, were reintroduced to the country in 2009 after being hunted to extinction in the 16th century.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust says that the Eurasian beavers are "adept natural engineers, with an incredible ability to create new wetlands, restore native woodland and improve conditions for a wide range of species including dragonflies, otters and fish."

Nature Scotland adds that there are around 424 beaver territories and 1500 beavers across Scotland with this population rising rapidly.

Bottlenose Dolphins

Helensburgh Advertiser: There are thought to be 224 bottlenose dolphins in Scotland (Getty)There are thought to be 224 bottlenose dolphins in Scotland (Getty) (Image: Getty)

Spotted on both the east and west coasts of Scotland, the bottlenose dolphin has a relatively small population of around 224 based on estimates between 2015 and 2019.

There are a number of pressures facing these cetaceans such as the threat from human organic pollutants, recreational activities and collision with sea vessels.

Golden Eagles

Helensburgh Advertiser: The golden eagle population is once again growing in Scotland (Getty)The golden eagle population is once again growing in Scotland (Getty) (Image: Getty)

Forestry and Land Scotland says for a long time, golden eagles have represented a "classic symbol of the wild" in Scotland.

Known for the "glorious light golden brown plumage on their head, neck and shoulders," these birds were driven to extinction in England and Wales.

While their numbers did suffer in Scotland, their population is once again growing with these birds being more common in the Highlands.

Pine Marten 

Helensburgh Advertiser: Pine Martens primarily live in woodlands (Getty)Pine Martens primarily live in woodlands (Getty) (Image: Getty)

These cat-sized mustelids are part of the weasel family and are recognisable for their dark brown fur and long body (which is around 65 to 70cm in length).

Existing primarily in woodlands, the population of these animals remains low with only an estimated 3700 adult pine martins left in Scotland.

This was because of a sustained persecution by gamekeepers in the 19th century, a practice which lasted until relatively recently.