A nine-year campaign aimed at protecting the countryside and saving endangered species from extinction has been launched by a wildlife charity.
The RSPB Scotland drive, said to be the most ambitious in its 107-year history, is a response to the dwindling numbers of some native birds, mammals and insects, as well as the decline of wild flowers, peatlands and native forests.
The campaign, which focuses on Scotland, the UK and other parts of the globe, comes after countries across the world failed last year to meet targets to halt the decline in biodiversity. A new goal was set by the UN for 2020.
Entitled Stepping Up for Nature, the campaign encourages governments, businesses and individuals to "step up" and do their bit to help the natural environment.
More than 25,000 people in Scotland have signed a letter urging ministers not to cut funding for nature conservation in the tough economic times.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead welcomed the campaign, saying: "Protecting biodiversity is not a choice but a necessity.
"Only by working together and mobilising the support and actions of RSPB members, the wider public and the business community will we be able to meet our ambitious target of halting biodiversity loss by 2020."
RSPB Scotland is warning that some of the country's best-loved native birds, including the kestrel, curlew, lapwing and redshank are in sharp decline, while once widespread species like the capercaillie and corn bunting are clinging on in small pockets.
The Scottish wildcat is now one of the country's rarest species, with an estimated 400 individuals remaining. Just a few populations of the great yellow bumblebee endure and the freshwater pearl mussel is now extinct in two-thirds of the 155 Scottish rivers it occupied a century ago, the charity said.
In addition, many native wild flowers are "seriously" threatened and 99% of the Caledonian pine forest has disappeared.
The campaign will be split into three parts, each three years' long.
As part of the drive, the RSPB is calling for reform of Europe's Common Agricultural Policy and the safeguarding of marine life through the creation of protected areas.
Campaigners also want to see robust protection for tropical forests at a climate conference in Durban later this year.
RSPB Scotland director Stuart Housden said: "When we missed the 2010 biodiversity target we failed nature. We absolutely can't let that happen again.
"Over the next decade we have the opportunity to fix the problems that are causing the loss of wildlife in Scotland and across the world.
"We have a simple choice here, and if politicians and businesses make the right choices then we can create a space for nature in our countryside, ensure vital habitats are not lost and bring back those species on the brink.
"But this is a process we must all be involved in. Everyone can do their bit.
"If we can encourage millions of people from all walks of life to take a few steps for nature, then those we elect will sit up and take notice.
"Businesses will want to be seen to be playing their part - it makes good commercial sense to show investing in nature is on the business agenda.
"From schoolchildren creating a wildlife garden in the corner of their playground right up to ministers leading by creating a vital piece of legislation that protects our natural environment, we all have a part to play between now and 2020."