A campaign to save the Scottish wildcat has revealed previously unknown populations of the rare feline in parts of a national park.
The Cairngorms Wildcat Project, based at Cairngorms National Park, has provided a unique insight into one of the country's most endangered species.
The project, including the use of secret camera traps and contributions from the public, has shed new light on the numbers and distribution of wildcats.
A total of 465 potential wildcat sightings were recorded both inside and outside the Cairngorms area.
The figures showed that wildcats are very scarce on the eastern side of the park - in the Donside, Deeside and Angus Glens - but more prevalent in the Badenoch & Strathspey, Perthshire and possibly Glenlivet areas.
Cat owners within the park were encouraged to have their pets neutered and vaccinated.
Dr David Hetherington, from the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), said: "Thanks to the public’s support for wildcats and the project itself we now understand better the distribution of wild-living cats and the levels of interbreeding.
"The use of innovative camera traps set up to capture images of passing animals has been particularly helpful in verifying the occurrence of wildcats and hybrids.
"Wildcats have also been confirmed in some parts of the Cairngorms National Park where they were not previously thought to inhabit."
Douglas Richardson from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland said: "The project has not only raised the profile of the wildcat in Scotland, and therefore increased the likelihood of it being brought back from the brink of extinction, it has demonstrated the practicalities of a model conservation project that could be applied to wildcat conservation in other parts of the world."