An initiative to tackle wildlife crime in the Cairngorms was launched on Friday when the first Police Scotland special constables took up their duties.
The Scottish Government and the Cairngorms National Park Authority are funding the pilot project.
Five officers, all currently special constables and based across the three Police Scotland divisions covered by the national park, will concentrate on wildlife and rural crime issues.
They will liaise with other agencies to prevent wildlife crime and build on existing relationships with those living and working in the park.
Detective Chief Superintendent David McLaren said “Tackling wildlife crime in Scotland is something that Police Scotland takes very seriously. Our priority should be preventing these crimes in the first place and we can only do this through strong partnership working and with the help of the public.”