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This article appeared in the March/April 2010 issue of the ALBC newsletter. ALBC members receive 6 bi-monthly newsletters that contain articles about the breeds of livestock and poultry that we work to conserve as well as the people involved in these efforts. Members also receive an annual breeders directory that provides contact information for ALBC members who have breeding stock available, as well a list of products from these breeds that they offer for sale.
From the March/April 2010 ALBC Newsletter:
Changes to the Conservation Priority List for 2010
There are many changes to the 2010 ALBC Conservation Priority List (CPL). The most significant changes are to the listings of chickens. The poultry CPL is relatively new compared to the mammal list and has been difficult to develop due to the lack of poultry registries or other agencies that document breed populations. Past poultry statuses on the CPL were established using U.S. numbers acquired through census work conducted by ALBC; however, there was no clear way to assess global populations, especially for international breeds. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) now provides a report that, though not exhaustive, gives a representation of global populations. A first glimpse of these global populations was reported in the September/October 2009 issue of the ALBC News, and a modified CPL for chickens was proposed. The chicken CPL was further refined during the staff’s annual review of population information and conservation priorities. ALBC used two rules to determine a chicken breed’s status on the Conservation Priority List. In general, U.S. population numbers determined the status for breeds of American origin. International breeds were placed in the “least endangered” category, as suggested by both global and U.S. data. Based on this data, the following changes have been made to the poultry CPL: (more info on chicken CPL)
Moving from the Study category into the Critical category are the Sultan and the Yokohama.
Advancing from the Critical category to the Threatened category are the Andalusian, Buttercup, Delaware, Faverolle, and Malay. Moving from Study into Threatened is the Phoenix.
Advancing from Critical to Watch are the Aseel, Catalana, Houdan, and La Fleche. Advancing from Threatened to Watch is the Ancona, and moving from Study into Watch are the Old English Game and the Shamo.
Advancing into Recovering from Threatened is the Sussex.
The Egyptian Fayoumis is being removed from the list as international numbers exceed 100,000.
Other changes to the poultry CPL include the addition of two breeds to the Study category: the Dutch Hookbill duck and the Steinbacher goose are both in need of closer examination.
There are also a number of changes to the mammalian portion of the Conservation Priority List. Careful readers will notice that one breed that changed categories last year has changed again this year. Such is the nature of conservation work and this list – it is dynamic and changes as new information becomes available.
All of the equids are at risk because of their nearly exclusive use in the United States as recreational animals, the closure of slaughter options in the United States, and the serious downturn in the world economy. There are five specific changes to the CPL for equids. The American Mammoth Jackstock advanced from Critical to Threatened. Recently acquired information from the American Donkey and Mule Society reports 356 annual registrations and an estimated living population of 2800. This reverses the breed’s move from Threatened to Critical last year.
Three British breeds of horses have changed categories. The Exmoor pony advanced from Critical to Threatened as its global population is now 3300, according to Exmoor Pony Society in Devon, England. The Dales Pony was moved from Study to Threatened based on a global population of 2000 and reciprocity between The Dales Pony Society in Derbyshire, England, and North American breed societies. The close genetic relationship of the Dales Pony with the Fell Pony remains a reality. The Fell Pony advanced from Threatened to Watch with a global population of 7000, as reported by the Fell Pony Society in Cumbria, England.
The Ancient White Park cattle advanced from Critical to Threatened. According to the registrar of the Ancient White Park Cattle Society of North America, the number of cows registered in the United States in 2008 and estimated for 2009 exceeds 200, with a total United States population around 700. In 2008, over 290 cows were registered in the United Kingdom. This represents years of careful conservation work on behalf of this breed. Congratulations to all those who helped make this happen!
The Dorset Horn sheep has dropped from Watch to Threatened. A status report from the Continental Dorset Club based in North Scituate, Rhode Island, shows 900 registrations in 2008. The global population is also on the decline with Rare Breeds Survival Trust estimating just short of 1600 animals in 2007.
Since breed populations are continually changing, they are a moving target. Every year ALBC requests registration information from breed associations. If you have information on breeds that is more current than indicated by the status of the breed on the CPL, we would love to hear from you. Call or drop us an email anytime. Thank you for your part in saving these breeds for future generations and the useful work they are destined to do. ALBC is proud to share the 2010 Conservation Priority List, giving us all a snapshot of a breed’s status at a given moment in time.