A new conservation area has been set up in the waters off the west of Scotland to help protect harbour porpoise.
A Special Area of Conservation (SAC) has been created in the Inner Hebrides and Minches, which is the largest conservation area for the marine species in Europe.
The move fulfils the Scottish Government’s legal obligation to protect the porpoise.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “I am pleased to designate Scotland’s first harbour porpoise SAC.
“This will help maintain the favourable conservation status and provide protection to the species and their habitats.”
WWF Scotland director, Lang Banks, said it was “fantastic news” that Europe’s largest SAC for harbour porpoise was to be located off the west coast of Scotland.
He said: “We’ve long called for greater protection for this species and we look forward to working with the Scottish Government and others to ensure that this site contributes to a coherent and well-managed network of marine protected areas.
“We know establishing marine protected areas works, so we look forward to seeing governments around the UK continuing to designate more locations in the future.”