A Welsh Mountain sheep breed whose numbers have declined nearly 30 percent since 2013 has been added to a breed survival watchlist.
The rare Badger Face Torwen will now benefit from focused support to help the breed’s revival.
Torwens, which means 'white belly', have a black face with white facial markings, and a black fleece with a white belly.
Their legs are tan with a black stripe, the underside of their tail is white and the rams have dark spiralled horns.
The majority of today’s Torwen flocks are still found in Wales, but flocks have also been established in England and a small number in Scotland.
The breed has entered the Rare Breeds Survival Trust's (RBST) Watchlist following a decline in numbers.
The Watchlist indexes the rarest native livestock and equine breeds in the United Kingdom.
RBST Chief Executive Christopher Price said action was required to prevent the Torwens from disappearing forever.
"Not only are these sheep an irreplaceable part of our national heritage but [they] produce delicious meat," he said.
Brian Eagles, Past Chairman of the Badger Face Welsh Mountain Sheep Society, has kept Torwens for more than 20 years.
He said: “Torwens are very useful on farms and smallholdings alike thanks to their hardy nature, medium size and excellent mothering.
"They are good for crossing, popular in meat boxes and ideal for conservation grazing work, but they are not as well-known as their Torddu cousins."
Just 491 Badger Face Torwen breeding females were registered in 2019, down from 681 in 2013.