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Edinburgh Zoo suspends panda breeding
Giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang arrived in Edinburgh in 2011, having travelled from Chengdu in China.

Pause will allow experts to assess the breeding process 

Edinburgh Zoo has said it will not breed its giant pandas this year after five failed attempts to produce a cub.

The zoo said it will use the pause in its breeding programme to ‘further assess the incredibly complex and unpredictable breeding process’.

The time will also allow enhancements to be made to the panda enclosure, which would not have been possible during or between breeding seasons.

Together with key specialists, the giant panda team will consider the scientific data, their own experiences and those of international colleagues, in addition to the latest thinking on panda accommodation.

Giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang arrived in Edinburgh in 2011, having travelled from Chengdu in China. They are the UK’s only giant pandas.

Tian Tian had previously given birth to twins in China but attempts to breed her in Edinburgh have failed thus far, despite hopeful signs on several occasions.

In a statement, the zoo said: ‘We very much hope Tian Tian has a cub in the future and will be thrilled if this happens.

‘Even without breeding success as yet, RZSS is playing a crucial role in safeguarding this magnificent species by helping fund conservation projects in China alongside international partners. These projects are critical, with fewer than two thousand giant pandas in the wild.’

Image © Edinburgh Zoo

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.