Our projects

Giant panda conservation

RZSS and the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) entered into an agreement in 2011 to undertake specific projects in areas of mutual benefit in the fields of giant panda conservation, education and research. As part of the agreement, two giant pandas (Tian Tian and Yang Guang) arrived at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo on 4 December 2011.

As a condition of the main agreement between CWCA and RZSS, a second and subsequently a third agreement were signed with the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP). Five thematic areas of research were outlined, alongside a mechanism through which CCRCGP and RZSS would deliver the research (both in China and Scotland). These are:

  1. Field ecology
  2. Genetic management
  3. Breeding and infant care
  4. Veterinary management and research
  5. Cognitive evolution and behavioural research

RZSS is currently facilitating 40 giant panda-related research projects worldwide, through funding, part-funding and collaborations, and our experts are currently working with nine universities in the UK. All this research stems from the Giant Panda Symposium, held in Edinburgh in 2013, when RZSS gathered over 60 experts from around the world to develop a five-year research plan for giant pandas.

Education is an important part of our conservation work. A range of resources, Beyond the Panda, have been designed and developed to enable learners and learning providers to investigate, study and explore a variety of topics within the overall context of giant pandas and China.

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