Conserving Genetic Diversity

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The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy preserves genetic diversity by promoting historic breeds of cattle, pigs, goats, horses, asses, sheep, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. Its programs include rare breed research, gene banks and public education.

The ALBC Conservation Priority List classifies rare breeds into five categories:

  • Critical – fewer than 200 annual registrations and an estimated global population less than 2,000.
  • Threatened – fewer than 1,000 annual registrations and an estimated global population less than 5,000.
  • Watch – fewer than 2,500 annual registrations and an estimated global population less than 10,000.
  • Recovering – Breeds once in another category that still need monitoring.
  • Study – Breeds of genetic interest that lack definition, genetic or historical documentation.

The ALBC’s assistance has been invaluable in the creation of this field guide. To contact them, write to P.O. Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312; call (919) 542-5704; or visit the Web site at www.ALBC-USA.org .