A championship golf course that is being proposed to be built in the Highlands is at risk due to concerns for a rare species of fly.
The site for the proposed 18-hole course is in Coul. The Fonseca's seed fly only breeds in the dunes where the course is set to be created - and nowhere else in the world.
Conservationists have called for surveys of the fly and an online petition has been set up to save the fly, which has attracted more than 1,000 signatures.
A spokesman for the RSPB said: "The Dornoch Firth and Loch Fleet area supports many overwintering birds and is protected under national and international law for this reason. It appears to be a highly inappropriate location for yet another golf course on Scotland's dwindling undeveloped sand dune habitat.
"At this stage however few details of the proposals are available. If planning permission is sought we will carefully study what is submitted to assess any unacceptable impact on this important site and respond in line with this."
Craig Macadam, conservation director at invertebrate conservation trust Buglife added: "Fonseca's seed fly is an endemic species extremely vulnerable to extinction. Recent survey work by Scottish Natural Heritage found that populations have dropped significantly since the 70s and 80s; further loss of habitat to development will make it even harder for this rare species to survive. Unfortunately SNH were unable to survey the proposed golf course, however the fly is expected to be present there as there is suitable habitat. It is vital that surveys for this species are undertaken to ensure that any development doesn't impact upon this species or its habitat.
"Scotland has an international responsibility for this species. Its habitat should be protected and enhanced, not put under threat from yet another golf course development."
However, an online petition has also been set up to support the development due to its potential economic benefits.
US golf entrepreneurs Mike Keiser and Todd Warnock are the men behind the plans for the 805-acre course.
You can read the original article from Golf Course Management HERE