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Proportion of local breeds classified as being at risk, not-at-risk or at unknown level of risk of extinction

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Potential for future use at global and regional levels

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Potential for future use at global and regional levels

Last update

2016

Coverage

Global

Availability

Freely available

Partners

Fao

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Contact point

Roswitha Baumung: Roswitha.Baumung@fao.org

Indicator description

More than 35 species of birds and mammals have been domesticated for use in agriculture and food production, and there are more than 8,800 recognized breeds. This indicator aims to show whether genetic diversity of farmed and domesticated animals is being maintained using the proportion of local breeds classified as at risk, not at risk and unknown risk of extinction at a certain moment in time, as well as the trends for those proportions.

Related Aichi Targets

Primary target

13

Target 13:

By 2020, the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and of wild relatives, including other socio-economically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity.

Primary target

13

Target 13:

By 2020, the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and of wild relatives, including other socio-economically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity.

13

Related SDGs

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 02

GOAL 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Target 2.5| Official indicator

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 ensure access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed.

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 02

GOAL 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 02

Partners

Fao

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Potential for future use at global and regional levels

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Potential for future use at global and regional levels

Last update

2016

Coverage

Global

Availability

Freely available

Indicator description

More than 35 species of birds and mammals have been domesticated for use in agriculture and food production, and there are more than 8,800 recognized breeds. This indicator aims to show whether genetic diversity of farmed and domesticated animals is being maintained using the proportion of local breeds classified as at risk, not at risk and unknown risk of extinction at a certain moment in time, as well as the trends for those proportions.

Contact point

Roswitha Baumung: Roswitha.Baumung@fao.org

Graphs / Diagrams


Figure 1. Proportions of local breeds, classified as being at risk, not-at risk or unknown level of risk of extinction. Source: FAO, 2016.

Current storyline

Animal genetic resources are the primary biological capital for livestock development, and are vital to food security and sustainable rural development. Yet, the values of these resources are poorly understood and their management has been neglected. This has resulted in substantial erosion of genetic diversity – a trend that is likely to accelerate with the rapid changes affecting the livestock sector in response to massive increases in demand for livestock products.

More than 35 species of birds and mammals have been domesticated for use in agriculture and food production, and there are about 8,800 recognized breeds. Livestock keeping is an important livelihood activity for hundreds of millions of people around the world, including an estimated 70% of the world’s rural poor. Livestock also provide a number of services within the ecosystems of which they form part. Grazing animals such as cattle, goats, sheep and horses stimulate plant growth, remove excess biomass, and contribute to nutrient cycling and seed dispersal. Genetic diversity in livestock species provides vital options for adapting livestock production to future challenges.

The indicator is based on the aggregation of breed risk-status data. A focus is given to local breeds, reported to occur only in one country. An increase in the percentage of breeds categorized as at risk or extinct and a decrease in the percentage categorized as not at risk indicate a decline in livestock diversity. Conversely, a decline in the percentage of breeds classified as at risk, a lack of new extinctions and an increase in the percentage of breeds categorized as not at risk indicate that livestock diversity is being maintained and made more secure. In this interpreting indicator, it is important to bear in mind that breed diversity does not fully reflect genetic diversity, because it does not account for within-breed diversity or for how closely breeds are related to each other. Measuring the effects of genetic dilution through uncontrolled cross-breeding, a substantial threat to diversity, is a particular problem.

Across the world, when excluding extinct breeds, 65 percent of local breeds are classified as of unknown status (because of missing population data or the lack of recent updates of them), 20 percent as at risk, and 16 percent as not at risk. This result differs substantially from the proportions obtained when considering local and transboundary breeds (occurring in more than one country) inasmuch as the majority of transboundary breeds are considered as not at risk. Results also differ widely across regions. In all regions but Europe, more than 75 percent of local breeds are of unknown status. In Europe, 41 percent of local breeds are of unknown status, 39 percent are considered as at risk, and 21 percent not at risk.

Data and methodology

Coverage:

Global time series (since early 1980s, though with gaps).

Regional time series (since early 1980s, though with gaps).

Scale: Aggregated from national data.

Time series available: 1996 - 2016.

Possible disaggregations: By region and nation.

Metadata used: FAO hosts the Domestic Animal Diversity Information System DAD-IS (http://dad.fao.org/). It is a communication and information tool supporting the development of strategies for the management of animal genetic resources. DAD-IS role as clearing house mechanism and early warning tool for animal genetic resources for food and agriculture has been recognized by the Convention on Biological Diversity (http://www.cbd.int/convention/) since the mid-1990s as DAD-IS has global coverage and contains a standardized set of data fields for recording the size and structure of breed populations.

Methodology: It will be possible to aggregate data at country, regional and global levels. The timescales over which trends can be described will depend on the regularity with which countries enter population data into DAD-IS and the completeness of historical data.

National use of indicator

It is possible to calculate the indicator at global, regional and national levels. For more information on producing a national indicator for the genetic diversity of terrestrial domesticated animals contact Roswitha Baumung.

Regional reports and a national warning tool are available from the DAD-IS http://dad.fao.org/ under the link “breeds”.

Further resources

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Potential for future use at global and regional levels

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Potential for future use at global and regional levels

Last update

2016

Coverage

Global

Availability

Freely available

Partners

Fao

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Contact point

Roswitha Baumung: Roswitha.Baumung@fao.org