Special Issue "Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Phillip Sponenberg
Website
Guest Editor
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg, VA, USA
Interests: conservation; domesticated animals; breeds; livestock genetics; animal production systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For most of human history, the use of domesticated animals has been one of consistent expansion of breeds by both numbers and levels of diversity. Breeds served as predictable genetic resources, with each breed being used in one or a few of the wide varieties of environments in which humans lived. The wide variety of predictable genetic resources contributed significantly to human survival as well as to cultural development. The last century has seen a dramatic reversal of this long-term pattern of expansion. The current situation is one of collapse and loss of many genetic resources, because production systems increasingly rely on only a handful of productive breeds for use across the globe. The diminishing status of genetic resources is occurring at the same time that environments and production systems are experiencing high rates of change. This brings the risk that future systems may lack the well-adapted genetic resources necessary for their optimal function. This Special Issue provides a platform to explore a wide range of topics relevant to the definition, documentation, use, and conservation of genetic resources of domesticated animals, in addition to the reasons for their endangerment and strategies for their effective conservation.

Dr. Phillip Sponenberg
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Conservation
  • Livestock
  • Poultry
  • Domesticated animals
  • Breed
  • Animal production systems

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Conserving the Genetic Diversity of Domesticated Livestock
Diversity 2020, 12(7), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12070282 - 17 Jul 2020
Viewed by 618
Abstract
Domesticated animals live and produce in an environment influenced by both natural and human factors. These agricultural environments are important to maintain for human survival and also for their interactions with natural environments. Effective conservation of domesticated biodiversity can help to assure sustainable [...] Read more.
Domesticated animals live and produce in an environment influenced by both natural and human factors. These agricultural environments are important to maintain for human survival and also for their interactions with natural environments. Effective conservation of domesticated biodiversity can help to assure sustainable agricultural systems that minimize negative influences on natural environments. In addition, livestock biodiversity is a component of total biodiversity and for several species is the only remaining source of diversity because the wild ancestors are now extinct. Conservation of livestock biodiversity depends on cultural and biological approaches. Each of these has differential importance depending on the specific location of the genetic resource as well as the human culture in which it resides. Effective global conservation blends these in different measures to assure positive outcomes that succeed in securing the genetic resource as well as its contribution to human survival and well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Conservation and Utilization of Livestock Genetic Diversity in the United States of America through Gene Banking
Diversity 2019, 11(12), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11120244 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 749
Abstract
A germplasm collection curated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Animal Germplasm Program contains of over one million samples from over 55,000 animals, representing 165 livestock and poultry breeds. The collection was developed to provide genetic [...] Read more.
A germplasm collection curated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Animal Germplasm Program contains of over one million samples from over 55,000 animals, representing 165 livestock and poultry breeds. The collection was developed to provide genetic conservation and security for the U.S. livestock sector. Samples in the collection span 60 years, suggesting a wide range of genetic diversity and genetic change is represented for rare and major breeds. Classifying breeds into four groups based upon registration or census estimates of population size of < 1000, < 5000, < 20,000, and > 20,000 indicated that 50% of the collection is comprised of rare breeds in the < 1000 category. As anticipated, collections for breeds in the < 20,000 and > 20,000 are more complete (86% and 98%, respectively) based upon an index combining the number of germplasm samples and the number of animals. For the rarest breeds (< 1000), collection completeness was 45%. Samples from over 6000 animals in the collection have been used for adding diversity to breeds, genomic evaluation, reconstituting populations, or various research projects. Several aspects of collecting germplasm samples from rare breeds are discussed. In addition, approaches that could be used to enhance the status of rare breeds via the repository use are presented. However, given the array of obstacles confronting rare breeds, the gene bank may be the most secure prospect for the long-term conservation of rare breed genetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
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Open AccessArticle
Cryoconservation of Animal Genetic Resources in Europe and Two African Countries: A Gap Analysis
Diversity 2019, 11(12), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11120240 - 13 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 952
Abstract
Cryoconservation is one of the main strategies to conserve farm animal genetic resources, providing opportunities for genetic improvement and adaptation to changes in production environments and consumer demands. In this study, we combine livestock breed-related data from the Domesticated Animal Diversity Information System [...] Read more.
Cryoconservation is one of the main strategies to conserve farm animal genetic resources, providing opportunities for genetic improvement and adaptation to changes in production environments and consumer demands. In this study, we combine livestock breed-related data from the Domesticated Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS) and information provided by gene banks from 15 European and 2 non-European countries on material stored for livestock breeds to analyze the gaps in cryomaterial collections according to species, countries and various breed categories. Out of the 2949 breeds registered in DAD-IS for these countries, 15.9% have been reported to have material stored in gene banks, but only 4.3% have material sufficient to allow breed reconstitution. The proportion of breeds with stored cryomaterial was greater than 20% for ruminants and pigs, between 10% and 20% for equids, and below 10% for rabbit and avian species. According to the results of two logistic regressions, countries show significant differences in the proportion of populations collected for cryostorage, while breeds not-at-risk are more likely to have cryomaterial preserved than are other breeds. Also, a relatively larger proportion of transboundary breeds have cryomaterial in gene banks than do local breeds, likely due in part to the fact that multiple countries have the opportunity to collect this material. These results highlight the need for increased efforts in material collection for at-risk local breeds and regional coordination on cryoconservation of material from transboundary breeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Genetic Diversity Conserved in the Gene Bank for Dutch Cattle Breeds
Diversity 2019, 11(12), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11120229 - 28 Nov 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1271
Abstract
In this study, we characterized genetic diversity in the gene bank for Dutch native cattle breeds. A total of 715 bulls from seven native breeds and a sample of 165 Holstein Friesian bulls were included. Genotype data were used to calculate genetic similarities. [...] Read more.
In this study, we characterized genetic diversity in the gene bank for Dutch native cattle breeds. A total of 715 bulls from seven native breeds and a sample of 165 Holstein Friesian bulls were included. Genotype data were used to calculate genetic similarities. Based on these similarities, most breeds were clearly differentiated, except for two breeds (Deep Red and Improved Red and White) that have recently been derived from the MRY breed, and for the Dutch Friesian and Dutch Friesian Red, which have frequently exchanged bulls. Optimal contribution selection (OCS) was used to construct core sets of bulls with a minimized similarity. The composition of the gene bank appeared to be partly optimized in the semen collection process, i.e., the mean similarity within breeds based on the current number of straws per bull was 0.32% to 1.49% lower than when each bull would have contributed equally. Mean similarity could be further reduced within core sets by 0.34% to 2.79% using OCS. Material not needed for the core sets can be made available for supporting in situ populations and for research. Our findings provide insight in genetic diversity in Dutch cattle breeds and help to prioritize material in gene banking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
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Open AccessCommunication
Morphometric Evaluation of Phenotypic Groups of Creole Cattle of Southern Ecuador
Diversity 2019, 11(12), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11120221 - 20 Nov 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 908
Abstract
The breeding of creole cattle from the southern region of Ecuador, also known as Criollo Lojano, is a source of economic support and work for the communities located in the remote areas of the Andes mountains in this region. These cattle are grouped [...] Read more.
The breeding of creole cattle from the southern region of Ecuador, also known as Criollo Lojano, is a source of economic support and work for the communities located in the remote areas of the Andes mountains in this region. These cattle are grouped into four biotypes based on their phenotypic characteristics: Negro Lojano, Encerado, Colorado, and Cajamarca or Pintado. This study analyzes the morphometric variability of these creole cattle using least squares means (LSM) and restricted maximum likelihood Restricted Maximum Likelihood (REML) variance components. The evaluation parameters used to characterize these cattle were live weight plus 15 morphometric characteristics and nine morphometric indexes. The measurements came from 151 adult animals (28 male and 123 females). With the exception of Height at Withers (P = 0.06), the other morphometric characteristics do not show significant difference among these creole biotypes. Sexual dimorphism was found in live weight, thoracic circumference, height at withers, chest width, length of thorax, length of body, depth of thorax, depth of abdomen, length of head, and length of horns (P < 0.05). The adult Creole Lojano has an average live weight of 288 ± 12.9 kg (mean ± standard error), The Cephalic index is 45.6, the Corporal index is 115.9, the Pelvic index is 90.5, the Thoracic index is 58.3, the Proportionality index is 62.6, the Thoracic Capacity index is 2.1, the Lower Leg–Thoracic index is 9.9, the Transverse Pelvic index is 34.7, and the Pelvic Length index is 38.4. This creole bovine breed presents 4 biotypes that are similar; there are differences in the analysis with respect to sex (males are higher in 10 of the 16 characteristics analyzed); and on the basis of the indexes, this animal is small, has a triangular head, is longilinear with a long and narrow hip. It is a dual-purpose milk type with the exception of the Colorado biotype which is a dual purpose meat type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
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Open AccessCommunication
Genetic Cryopreservation of Rare Breeds of Domesticated North American Livestock: Smithsonian & SVF Biodiversity Preservation Project
Diversity 2019, 11(10), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11100198 - 18 Oct 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1454
Abstract
Modern agriculture has responded to the growing pressure for animal-protein consumption in the global human population by selecting for specific production traits, which, over the last fifty years, has resulted in a loss of genetic diversity. Most rare and endangered breeds of livestock [...] Read more.
Modern agriculture has responded to the growing pressure for animal-protein consumption in the global human population by selecting for specific production traits, which, over the last fifty years, has resulted in a loss of genetic diversity. Most rare and endangered breeds of livestock have not experienced the same selection pressures for production and therefore may contain useful genetic traits not found within modern breeds. In an effort to maintain biodiversity of livestock breeds, the SVF Foundation, a non-profit organization founded to preserve the genetic diversity of food and fiber livestock, has established an ex situ repository of genetic material from endangered North American cattle, sheep, and goats. This genetic material includes in vivo and in vitro produced embryos, semen, fibroblasts, serum, and whole blood DNA cards. The majority of samples in the SVF repository are cryopreserved, creating a genome resource bank for future use. Through the Smithsonian and SVF Biodiversity Preservation Project, this repository will be maintained at the Smithsonian’s Front Royal, VA, facility. This effort represents an excellent model for understanding and sustaining the genetic diversity of rare breeds in the US and in other countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
Open AccessCommunication
Genetic Characterization of Cleveland Bay Horse Breed
Diversity 2019, 11(10), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11100174 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1372
Abstract
The Cleveland Bay (CB) is the United Kingdom’s oldest established horse breed. In this study we analyzed the genetic variability in CB horses and investigated its genetic relationships with other horse breeds. We examined the genetic variability among 90 CB horses sampled in [...] Read more.
The Cleveland Bay (CB) is the United Kingdom’s oldest established horse breed. In this study we analyzed the genetic variability in CB horses and investigated its genetic relationships with other horse breeds. We examined the genetic variability among 90 CB horses sampled in the USA compared to a total of 3447 horses from 59 other breeds. Analysis of the genetic diversity and population structure was carried out using 15 microsatellite loci. We found that genetic diversity in CB horses was less than that for the majority of other tested breeds. The genetic similarity measures showed no direct relationship between the CB and Thoroughbred but suggested the Turkman horses (likely in the lineage of ancestors of the Thoroughbred) as a possible ancestor. Our findings reveal the genetic uniqueness of the CB breed and indicate its need to be preserved as a genetic resource. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Livelihood, Food and Nutrition Security in Southern Africa: What Role Do Indigenous Cattle Genetic Resources Play?
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020074 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1748
Abstract
Of the 345 million people in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), 30.6% are severely food insecure, 8% malnourished and 50% live with less than US $1 per day, respectively. Livelihood, food and nutrition security have, therefore, become key priorities for the SADC [...] Read more.
Of the 345 million people in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), 30.6% are severely food insecure, 8% malnourished and 50% live with less than US $1 per day, respectively. Livelihood, food and nutrition security have, therefore, become key priorities for the SADC region in response to these complex challenges. Given that 70% of the SADC population directly rely on agriculture for food, nutrition and income, sustained agricultural productivity may play an important role in achieving livelihood, food and nutrition security in the region. Being an important part of the agri-food system of marginalised communities in the region, cattle have great potential to contribute to the goal of reducing food and nutrition insecurity. The region has a population size of about 64 million cattle of which 75% of the population is kept under the smallholder farming systems, and primarily composed of indigenous tropical breeds. Most indigenous cattle breeds are, however, either undergoing rapid genetic dilution or at risk of extinction. At the same time, their environments, production and marketing systems are experiencing high rates of change in time and space. More importantly, indigenous cattle breeds in the region are undervalued. This makes it uncertain that future systems will have the adapted cattle breeds required for optimal livelihoods, food and nutrition security. To this end, the promotion of sustainable use of indigenous cattle for livelihood, food and nutrition security in the SADC region is strongly recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
Open AccessReview
Domestic Free-Range Pig Genetic Resources in Southern Africa: Progress and Prospects
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020068 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 715
Abstract
Pig genetic resources in Africa originate from different regions and were introduced through several migration pathways. Genetic analysis has shown a strong phylogeographic pattern, with pigs on the eastern parts showing a high frequency of alleles from the Far East while the ones [...] Read more.
Pig genetic resources in Africa originate from different regions and were introduced through several migration pathways. Genetic analysis has shown a strong phylogeographic pattern, with pigs on the eastern parts showing a high frequency of alleles from the Far East while the ones on the western parts show a strong European influence. This highlights the influence of trade routes on the genetic legacy of African pigs. They have, however, since adapted to the local environments to produce unique populations with unique attributes. Most of the pigs are now reared in resource-constrained smallholdings under free-range conditions. They are largely owned by women who spread ownership of the resource through kinship networks. Very little work has been done to characterize, conserve, and sustainably utilize pig genetic resources in Southern Africa. The risk status of the breeds together with population numbers, distribution, and other attributes are largely unknown. This paper proposes several strategies for the sustainable utilization of the pig genetic resources: A market-driven in situ conservation program and two complementary ex situ strategies. In addition, the possibility of community-based breed improvement programs is discussed. It was concluded that genetic characterization of domestic free-range pig populations should be a supreme priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
Open AccessReview
Sustainable Utilization of Indigenous Goats in Southern Africa
Diversity 2020, 12(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12010020 - 01 Jan 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 876
Abstract
Goats have a key role in ensuring food security and economic livelihood to smallholder farmers in rural areas. Women play a vital role in goat rearing, promoting economic autonomy within households. Indigenous goats dominate and are of high significance due to their adaptive [...] Read more.
Goats have a key role in ensuring food security and economic livelihood to smallholder farmers in rural areas. Women play a vital role in goat rearing, promoting economic autonomy within households. Indigenous goats dominate and are of high significance due to their adaptive traits that are relevant for climate change and low maintenance. However, lack of emphasis on farmer-centered technology development and proper breed characterization remains a hitch to sustainable utilization and breed development of indigenous goats. This can be over come through proper linkage between market and production, workable regional and national agricultural policies, community breeding programs, collaborative research work within the region, and consistent government support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
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Open AccessReview
The Current Status of Indigenous Ovine Genetic Resources in Southern Africa and Future Sustainable Utilisation to Improve Livelihoods
Diversity 2020, 12(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12010014 - 25 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 924
Abstract
Indigenous sheep play an important role in the livelihoods of communal farmers in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), and this underlines the need to curb the genetic erosion of these valuable resources. This contribution reports that the phenotypic performance and genetics gains [...] Read more.
Indigenous sheep play an important role in the livelihoods of communal farmers in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), and this underlines the need to curb the genetic erosion of these valuable resources. This contribution reports that the phenotypic performance and genetics gains of institutional and commercial sheep in Southern Africa are well recorded. In contrast, there is a dearth of knowledge as far as the performance and genetic gains of indigenous ovine genetic resources utilized by smallholder farmers are concerned. High levels of genetic diversity have been observed in exotic breeds, whereas low levels of genetic diversity were found in the Zulu and Namaqua Afrikaner breeds. Phenotypic measurements for indigenous resources include linear measurements indicative of size and reproduction for Zulu sheep. Lamb survival, reproduction and resistance to ticks of the indigenous, fat-tailed Namaqua Afrikaner sheep, as well as growth and reproduction have also been recorded for Sabi and Landim sheep. This review discusses ways to sustainably utilize ovine genetic resources, which includes the suggested implementation of structured breeding and conservation programs, marketing, improving feed resources, health and diseases, as well as gender and age issues. Clearly, there is ample room for further research and development as far as the performance and improvement of African indigenous sheep are concerned. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
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Open AccessReview
Genomic Tools for Effective Conservation of Livestock Breed Diversity
Diversity 2020, 12(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12010008 - 20 Dec 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1135
Abstract
Human concern about the status of genetic diversity in livestock breeds and their conservation has increased, as intense selection and reduced population sizes in many breeds has caused losses on the global livestock genetic biodiversity. Traditionally, pedigree data provided by the breeders were [...] Read more.
Human concern about the status of genetic diversity in livestock breeds and their conservation has increased, as intense selection and reduced population sizes in many breeds has caused losses on the global livestock genetic biodiversity. Traditionally, pedigree data provided by the breeders were used to estimate genetic diversity parameters, but over the past decades, technology has made possible the development of genomic markers. The result has been new opportunities to estimate genetic diversity in more detail, and to improve selection as well as prioritizing animals for conservation of genetic resources. The aim of the review is to summarize the evolution of livestock genomic markers and to explore the potential of the newest high-throughput technologies for estimation and conservation of livestock genetic diversity. More accurate diversity parameters are observed when genomic information is used for selection decisions instead of the traditional estimates using pedigree data. It is also possible to estimate additional parameters such as linkage disequilibrium to calculate effective population size or to minimize the genetic relatedness among the selected individuals based on runs of homozygosity. For long-term perspectives, new methods on genome editing are considered as new perspectives to reach a genetic diversity balance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
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Open AccessReview
The Patagonian Sheepdog: Historical Perspective on a Herding Dog in Chile
Diversity 2019, 11(12), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11120245 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1225
Abstract
The “Patagonian Sheepdog” is a local working dog breed that was produced by selection from European working sheepdogs that arrived in the Magallanes region of southern Chile in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Currently, the Patagonian Sheepdog is most commonly found [...] Read more.
The “Patagonian Sheepdog” is a local working dog breed that was produced by selection from European working sheepdogs that arrived in the Magallanes region of southern Chile in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Currently, the Patagonian Sheepdog is most commonly found in the Chilean Patagonian region (43°12’ S to 56°30’ S), where it plays a fundamental role as a working dog in sheep and, to some extent, in cattle farming. Dog types that may have contributed to the Patagonian Sheepdog include the Old Welsh Grey and other old UK herding dogs. The modern Patagonian Sheepdog has been selectively bred by local sheep farmers to produce a herding dog that is well adapted to the area: a medium body size, long or semi-long fur, drooping or semi-erect ears, a docile character, and a great aptitude for sheep herding. Morphological studies have determined the body measurements, zoometric indices, coat color, and marking for Patagonian Sheepdogs. The objective of this investigation was to collect historical information related to the presence of this dog in Chilean Patagonia, providing general aspects of the morphology and behavior, all key factors for the recognition and conservation of this little-known herding dog. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
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Open AccessReview
Organization and Management of Conservation Programs and Research in Domestic Animal Genetic Resources
Diversity 2019, 11(12), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11120235 - 06 Dec 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 816
Abstract
Creating national committees for domestic animal genetic resources within genetic resource national commissions is recommended to organize in situ and ex situ conservation initiatives. In situ conservation is a high priority because it retains traditional zootechnical contexts and locations to ensure the long-term [...] Read more.
Creating national committees for domestic animal genetic resources within genetic resource national commissions is recommended to organize in situ and ex situ conservation initiatives. In situ conservation is a high priority because it retains traditional zootechnical contexts and locations to ensure the long-term survival of breeds. In situ actions can be based on subsidies, technical support, structure creation, or trademark definition. Provisional or permanent relocation of breeds may prevent immediate extinction when catastrophes, epizootics, or social conflicts compromise in situ conservation. Ex situ in vivo (animal preservation in rescue or quarantine centers) and in vitro methods (germplasm, tissues/cells, DNA/genes storage) are also potential options. Alert systems must detect emergencies and summon the national committee to implement appropriate procedures. Ex situ coordinated centers must be prepared to permanently or provisionally receive extremely endangered collections. National germplasm banks must maintain sufficient samples of national breeds (duplicated) in their collections to restore extinct populations at levels that guarantee the survival of biodiversity. A conservation management survey, describing national and international governmental and non-governmental structures, was developed. Conservation research initiatives for international domestic animal genetic resources from consortia centralize the efforts of studies on molecular, genomic or geo-evolutionary breed characterization, breed distinction, and functional gene identification. Several consortia also consider ex situ conservation relying on socioeconomic or cultural aspects. The CONBIAND network (Conservation for the Biodiversity of Local Domestic Animals for Sustainable Rural Development) exemplifies conservation efficiency maximization in a low-funding setting, integrating several Latin American consortia with international cooperation where limited human, material, and economic resources are available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
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Open AccessReview
Strategies for Sustainable Use of Indigenous Cattle Genetic Resources in Southern Africa
Diversity 2019, 11(11), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11110214 - 12 Nov 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 948
Abstract
Indigenous cattle breeds are the most important livestock species in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region owing to their role in human food, nutrition, income, and social security. Despite the role of these breeds in the household and national economies, they are [...] Read more.
Indigenous cattle breeds are the most important livestock species in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region owing to their role in human food, nutrition, income, and social security. Despite the role of these breeds in the household and national economies, they are currently underutilised, their productivity remains low, and populations are faced with extinction. In addition, there are insufficient measures taken to secure their present and future value. The current review highlights strategies for sustainable use of indigenous cattle genetic resources in the region, including the use of novel production and marketing practices, women and youth empowerment, and development of the appropriate capacity building, legislative, and policy structures. At present, the lack of coordination among the different stakeholders still poses a challenge to the implementation of these strategies. To this end, partnerships, collaboration, and stakeholders’ participation are recommended to effectively implement strategies for sustainable use of indigenous cattle breeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
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Open AccessReview
Conservation Strategies for Local Breed Biodiversity
Diversity 2019, 11(10), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11100177 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1153
Abstract
Breeds of domesticated animals are often overlooked as contributing to biodiversity. Their unique role at the junction of natural and human-influenced environments makes them important potential contributors to biodiversity and ecosystem function. Effective conservation of livestock breeds rests upon valid recognition of breeds [...] Read more.
Breeds of domesticated animals are often overlooked as contributing to biodiversity. Their unique role at the junction of natural and human-influenced environments makes them important potential contributors to biodiversity and ecosystem function. Effective conservation of livestock breeds rests upon valid recognition of breeds as repeatable genomic packages with a reasonably high level of predictability for performance. Local or landrace breeds that lack breeder organization are especially difficult to conserve due to lack of formal recognition as breeds. Achieving success with them involves three major steps: Discover, Secure, and Sustain. Early in the process an evaluation of candidate populations for status as genetic resources is essential. This process is aided by a phenotypic matrix which can be used alongside historical investigations and genetic (DNA) studies. The goal is to include all qualifying animals and to exclude all those that do not qualify. Securing some populations depends on careful rescue protocols for maximizing the recovery of genetic variation, and this can then be followed by breeding protocols that provide for maintaining the population’s production potential along with a healthy and viable genetic structure for long-term survival and use. Sustaining breeds for the long term is also enabled by assuring market demand for the breed and its products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
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