Focusing On The Conservation of Ecosystems, Habitats & Wildlife
CONSERVING DOMESTIC BREEDS
Humans have domesticated around 40 animals species. Over 12,000 years, thousands of different breeds have developed through selective breeding of these species as well as environmental factors. In recent decades, high-yielding breeds have been favored, with the result that other breeds are endangered or extinct. Over one-fifth of domestic animal breeds are threatened by extinction. On average, two breeds are disappearing every week.
The FAO World Watch List assesses the viability of specific breeds within a country. Some populations have been deemed too low for survival. Others are in the “critical” or “endangered” category. This draws the attention of national organizations to threatened breeds within their borders, but it also produces anomalies. Countries in Africa, where data is not available on many breeds, register relatively few threatened breeds. On the other hand, European countries register a large number of threatened breeds because efforts are being made to conserve them.