A stretch of road in Sutherland has been pinpointed as one of the top 10 hotspots for deer collisions.
The 500m (547 yards) section of the A9 immediately north of the Navidale roundabout near Helmsdale is the only Highland location on the list.
The risk is being attributed to red deer stags as they move from higher moorland to richer feeding grounds to recover following their autumn rut.
Recent analysis by NatureScot shows that 10 deer and vehicle collisions have been recorded along the stretch of road in recent years.
Warning signs are now in place in the area until November 22 due to the heightened risk of collisions.
Drivers reminded to slow down
NatureScot is working with Transport Scotland and BEAR Scotland on the mobile electronic signs to remind drivers to slow down and look out for deer.
The agency has published an analysis of deer vehicle collisions from 2019-2021.
The other high-risk locations are all found in the Central Belt and associated with young roe deer dispersal in the spring months.
Dominic Sargent, NatureScot deer policy officer, said: “The data shows Navidale as a bit of an outlier, as the only one of the top ten high-risk locations not in the Central Belt and not near a wooded road junction.
“Collisions here are also more likely to involve red deer as they move to lower ground seeking food and shelter.
“As part of our ongoing work with partners to reduce deer impacts across Scotland, we’re focusing on areas where the evidence shows those impacts are highest, and Navidale is clearly a priority for public safety.
“We hope the warning message on the electronic road signs will remind drivers always to be ‘deer aware’, moderating their speed and staying alert to help reduce the likelihood of collisions.”
Angus Corby, Transport Scotland landscape and biodiversity manager, said the research helps to understand and record the impacts that wild deer have across the trunk road network.
“The agency is keen to explore avenues to reduce the potential for deer and vehicle collisions occurring anywhere on the network, to protect the welfare of native deer but primarily for the safety of road users.
Deer collisions cost £17m a year
“The use of the mobile variable message sign units is an initiative aimed at mitigating potential risk in an area where there are limited alternative options.”
Each year in the UK it is thought that over 700 people are injured or killed, and over £17 million is spent on vehicle repairs because of deer vehicle collisions (DVCs).
In Scotland, increasing deer populations and growth in traffic have led to an increased risk of DVCs, particularly in urban areas.
Earlier this year NatureScot released new figures revealing the extent of the problem to try to encourage drivers to pay attention and avoid a crash.