Endangered freshwater pearl mussels have been stolen from a Scottish island.
Breeding colonies of the molluscs, which have protected status, were targeted in remote areas of Harris, in the Outer Hebrides, in the past week or so.
Northern Constabulary said that the mussels were taken either by poachers or someone unaware of their protected status.
Freshwater mussels are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is an offence for any unauthorised person to tamper with them.
Police warned that they will take action against anyone suspected of committing offences under the act.
Freshwater pearl mussels are one of the most critically endangered molluscs in the world, according to Scottish Natural Heritage, with illegal pearl fishing and pollution the main threats.
They are similar to common mussels but grow much larger and live longer, for more than 100 years, and occasionally contain a pearl.
Anyone who has noticed suspicious activity in remote areas of Harris has been urged to contact police.
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