Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS)

Collection of breed cryoconservation information in DAD-IS


Cryoconservation of animal genetic resources for food and agriculture (GRFA) in gene banks is one of the strategies to maintain and conserve animal genetic resources for food and agriculture. The global importance of conservation of animal genetic resources is embedded in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), notably under Target 2.5 on maintaining the biodiversity of plants and animals. SDG Indicator 2.5.1b refers to the number of local breeds represented in national gene bank collections with an amount of genetic material stored that is sufficient to reconstitute the breed in case of extinction.

As of February 2020, the status of cryoconservation was unknown for almost 95% of local breeds in DAD‑IS. To fill this information gap, FAO worked hand in hand with the National Coordinators and their joint efforts were rewarded by an additional 58 countries that provided information on the status of cryoconservation of their national breed populations in 2020. This cooperation increased the number of countries with information on cryoconservation provided for any of their breeds from 35 to 93.

The increase in proportion of local breeds with known status was made possible due to the active participation of National Coordinators. Thanks to them, this proportion increased globally from 4.4% to 49% in 2020. As of February 2021 proportions of local breeds with insufficient and sufficient material to reconstitute the breed in case of extinction are estimated to be 6.2% (474 breeds) and 2.6% (203 breeds), respectively.

Together with the ability to review progress towards achieving SDG Target 2.5, effective monitoring offers countries vital information to make informed decisions regarding the management of their livestock breeds. The updated results illustrate that that there is an urgent need to increase efforts to cryoconserve the world’s animal genetic resources.