Visitors to a Cairngorm loch are being warned to be on their guard as samples indicate the presence of potentially toxic algae.
Samples taken of Loch Morlich have confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria which exists in fresh waters across the UK causing serious illness to humans and kill dogs.
Highland Council officials confirmed the potential outbreak on Saturday, warning visitors to the area to avoid contact with the substance.
The announcement comes as dozens of wild campers descended on the area for their annual summer vacation.
A council official said: “During this current period of prolonged warm weather, the chance of Blue Green algae (cyanobacteria) affecting water courses, particularly ponds, lochs and canals (as well as rivers), increases significantly. Sometimes the blue green algae can form blooms, which can release toxins into the water.
“Contact with blue-green algae can have health effects for humans and animals; the situation is being investigated by Highland Council Environmental Health Department in partnership with NHS Highland Public Health Department and wider colleagues.
“As a precautionary measure contact with the algal scum should be avoided by people and pets. Notices will be posted next to the loch warning that contact with the algal scum should be avoided.”