29 May 2018
The Scottish government has been asked to ensure schemes that encourage wildlife-friendly farming continue in the interests of a rare breeding bird.
Last year, numbers of corncrakes fell to their lowest level since 2003.
They breed on islands including Lewis, Harris, Mull, Orkney and parts of the north-west Highland coast and Argyll.
RSPB Scotland has asked the government to make a "firm commitment" to continue incentives that encourage wildlife-friendly farming.
The Scottish government said it awarded almost £50m last year to encourage environmentally-friendly land management practices over the next five years, including for efforts that help corncrake conservation.
RSPB Scotland said cooperation between crofters, government, statutory agencies, conservation organisations and agriculture organisations led to a recovery of the species.
RSPB Scotland said there could be problems where corncrakes spend winter in Africa.
However, it warned that in Scotland late springs could potentially have an effect, and it has concerns that a gap between successive management contracts between schemes has a detrimental impact on the area of land being managed to help the species.