Bats, badgers, foxes, otters and birds of prey are among the wildlife set to enjoy a safer life after a new team of wildlife officers was appointed.
Bats are among the wildlife which officers will protect
Northumbria Police has employed eight wildlife crime officers to prevent and detect crime against animals and birds.
They have completed a special course where they studied topics including bats and badgers and the law, and bird and habitat protection.
Their work will be alongside their regular police duties.
The team will work alongside the current wildlife officer Pc Paul Henery.
It is the first time Northumbria has recruited and trained officers to specifically increase the force's effectiveness in tackling wildlife crime.
Experts from the RSPB, RSPCA and the National Wildlife Crime Intelligence Unit helped in the training, which also covered amphibians and reptiles, the international trade in endangered species and animal persecution.
Mr Henery said: "This can only be good news for the wildlife of our region.
"These are newly-trained, highly-motivated officers and I'm looking forward to working with them to combat wildlife crime."