Rare, small mining bees have been discovered in the first-ever survey of the species at the Highland Wildlife Park.
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) announced on Thursday that it had completed the study of small scabious mining bees in the area.
There have only been a handful of sightings of the insect at the park in previous years.
As one of Scotland’s rarest bees, the tiny invertebrate is only found in a small number of locations in the Highlands.
It is thought to be threatened due to habitat loss and Highland Wildlife Park could act as a vital bridging site to connect different populations of this bee within Speyside.
Staff at the charity found a total of 70 bees and discovered important nest sites during the survey, which was carried out over August and September.
A statement by the RZSS said: “This work with small scabious mining bees is part of RZSS’s recent pledge to reverse the decline of 50 species by 2030 and the ongoing biodiversity action plan for the park.
“The plan spans the various ecosystems within the park and is designed to strengthen the chances for native species to thrive there.”