In situ conservation of livestock and poultry

Elizabeth L. Henson

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations or the United Nations Environment Programme concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

ISBN 92-5-103143-6

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1. Introduction

1.1 Animal Genetic Resources
1.2 Animal Genetic Resource Management
1.3 Live Animal Conservation

2. Animal Genetic Resources - Terms and Definitions

2.1 Genetic Principles

2.2 The Creation of Breeds

2.2.1 Founder Affects
2.2.2 Inflow of Genes
2.2.3 Mutation
2.2.4 Natural Selection
2.2.5 Selection by Man
2.2.6 Identification of a Breed

2.3 Extinction

2.3.1 Species Extinction
2.3.2 Breed Extinction
2.3.3 Extinction of Genes
2.3.4 Extinction is Forever

2.4 Conclusion

3. The Need for Conservation

3.1 The Reason For Conservation

3.1.1 Economic Potential
3.1.2 Scientific Use
3.1.3 Cultural Interest

3.2 The Objectives For Conservation

3.3 The Candidates for Conservation

3.3.1 Unique Populations
3.3.2 Endangered Populations - Species
3.3.3 Endangered Breeds
3.3.4 Endangered Populations - Genes
3.3.5 Populations in Rapid Change

3.4 Action To Identify Conservation Stocks

3.5 Conclusions

4. Conservation Methods

4.1 Ex Situ versus In Situ Methods

4.1.1 Cryogenic Preservation
4.1.2 In Situ Conservation
4.1.3 Co-ordination of Cryogenic and Live Conservation

4.2 Gene Pool versus Separate Breed Conservation

4.2.1 Separate Breeds
4.2.2 Gene Pools

4.3 Conservation Of Small Live Populations

4.3.1 Creating the Sample
4.3.2 Selection
4.3.3 Inbreeding
4.3.4 Small Population Size and Drift
4.3.5 Minimum Size of Conservation Herds

4.4 Small Breeding Programmes - Recommendations

4.5 Breeding Strategies

4.5.1 Natural Breeding
4.5.2 Random Mating
4.5.3 Pedigree Breeding
4.5.4 Maximum Avoidance
4.5.5 Sublines

4.6 Conservation for Utilization

5. Conservation in Practice

5.1 National Government Projects

5.1.1 Endangered Species Important for Domestication
5.1.2 Breeds with Potential for Use
5.1.3 Breeds Conservation as a Part of Environmental Conservation

5.2 Non Government Organizations

5.2.1 Habitat Conservation
5.2.2 Breeds with Historical Interest
5.2.3 Breeds with Cultural Importance

5.3 Private Organizations

5.3.1 Conservation for Economic Use
5.3.2 Research and Conservation
5.3.3 Conservation with Tourism and Education
5.3.4 Company Promotion

5.4 Private Conservation Efforts

5.4.1 Farmers
5.4.2 Co-ordinating Organizations

5.5 Conclusion

Summary of Recommendations

Programme For Action


Glossary Of Terms



The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of colleagues from around the world in the compilation of this manual, but particularly wishes to thank: Dr. D.S. Balain, of the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, Karnal, India; Dr. Arthur da Silva Mariante, CENARGEN/EMBRAPA, Brasilia, Brazil, and Dr. Louise Setshwaelo, Ministry of Agriculture, Gaborone, Botswana.