People heading to Loch Leven nature reserve have been asked to avoid using the water for sport from September as wintering birds flock back to the reserve.
In a message to anyone heading to the Kinross beauty spot, NatureScot asked people not to use the loch for water-borne activities like kayaking or swimming.
As many as 130 different species of bird are known to seek refuge at the nature reserve over the winter period.
The area is particularly important to waterfowl, including the whooper swan, greylag goose and pink-footed goose.
Loch Leven National Nature Reserve in Kinross said up to 60,000 birds can be present on the loch, and there are fears they could be disturbed.
A statement said: “From Wednesday we ask that there is no water-borne access (kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, swimming etc) at Loch Leven NNR between September 1 and March 31.”
Internationally important loch
It continued: “This is because huge numbers of wintering birds use this internationally important loch as a refuge and these birds are easily disturbed.
“At peak, we can have up to 60,000 birds using the loch as an important migratory hot-spot/wintering habitat.
“Let’s ensure that we continue to safeguard these significant winter wildfowl populations for the future.”
Neil Mitchell, Loch Leven National Nature Reserve Manager said: “We want everyone to have a wonderful time visiting Loch Leven NNR, but we’re asking visitors to remember first and foremost it’s a nature reserve and wildlife has to take priority.
“Reserve signage will be updated at all access points to reflect this information and we encourage people to share this advice with friends and family.
“We hope that if everyone behaves responsibly and follows this advice, it will help safeguard these significant winter wildfowl populations for the future.”