Sustainable Development Goals

Indicator 2.5.2 - Proportion of local breeds classified as being at risk of extinction

The indicator presents the percentage of local livestock breeds among local breeds with known risk status classified as being at risk of extinctions at a certain moment in time, as well as the trends for this percentage. The indicator will measure progress towards SDG Target 2.5.

Target 2.5

By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed.

Risk status of the local livestock breeds in the world, 2000-2021


Information collected for this indicator is key to safeguard precious animal varieties and support the livelihood of the world's population with sufficient, diverse and nutritious diets long into the future. 

Key results

Genetic diversity of farmed and domesticated animals remains under threat (or remains threatened)

Genetic diversity in live animal breeds is important to agriculture and food production. It enables livestock to be raised in various environments and provides a wide range of products and services (food, fibres, manure, draught power, etc.). While SDG indicator 2.5.1.b revealed that only a minute fraction of the local livestock breeds have sufficient material stored in case of extinction, SDG indicator 2.5.2 provides a measure of the actual risk of extinction for each living local livestock breed.

The fact that animal genetic resources are not being adequately conserved in medium- and long-term conservation facilities is particularly worrisome since, according to the latest country reports, an alarming proportion of local breeds are at risk of extinction.

Of the limited number of surveyed local livestock breeds, 74 percent are deemed at risk of extinction due to the number of living animals in a population falling below certain thresholds, whereas the risk status of 61 percent of local breeds across the world remains unknown.

Results between regions differ. Among breeds with known risk status:

  • 84 percent are considered to be at risk in Europe.
  • 42 percent are considered to be at risk in South America.
  • 66 percent are considered to be at risk in Southern Africa.

Due to the scarce information reported, results for other regions are considered to be not representative.

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