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This monograph "Animal Genetic Resources of the USSR" has been produced jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Centre for International Projects, Moscow and the USSR All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The funding has been provided principally by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The text was written specifically for this book by 25 leading Soviet scientists and specialists in agriculture in the USSR where the first translation into English was made. FAO then undertook the technical and English editing, followed by a period of consultation and revision with the Soviet authors and editors. The photographs which add so much to the understanding of livestock were specially commissioned for this publication.

The monograph follows a uniform layout in each chapter. Description of breeds within each species include the following: taxonomic group, origin, history, area of distribution at January 1980, environmental conditions, population dynamics, biological features, production traits, biochemical polymorphisms, breed structure, breeding centres, conservation herds and programmes for breed improvement and preservation. Major species are represented by improved, indigenous, rare and endangered breeds and for each, the most valuable qualities are emphasized. The material used derives from state herdbooks, lists of progeny tested sires, and registers of high producing animals. To be registered in a herdbook, animals must meet certain requirements of pedigree, breed characteristics, live weight, type, constitution, productivity and breeding value. These data are given for all improved breeds. The description of each breed is illustrated by outstanding individuals. Photographs show the conformation and sexual dimorphism of animals. . Sketch maps indicate the principal areas of occurrence of each species or breed.
In general, the shading shows continuous and the triangles discontinuous distribution. The circles are intended only to draw attention to the triangles.

Scientific EditorsFAO Editorial Coordinator