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The World Watch List for Domestic Animal Diversity in the context of conservation and utilisation of poultry biodiversity

  • S. Weigend (a1) and M.N. Romanov (a2)
Abstract

In 1995, the Member Governments of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations resolved that their Secretariat would develop the Global Strategy for the Management of Farm Animal Genetic Resources for country use. One of the sub-elements of this strategy is the establishment of a Global Databank for Farm Animal Genetic Resources. A snapshot of this Global Databank was analysed and synthesized in form of an extensive inventory known as the World Watch List for Domestic Animal Diversity (WWL-DAD). The 3rd edition (WWL-DAD:3) based on data collected up to November 1999 contains per-country reports for 16 mammalian and 14 avian species including a total of 6379 breed entries. Breed data recorded for 14 avian species encompasses only 16% (1049) of total breed entries. The majority (89%) of avian breeds recorded falls into one of the five major avian species: chicken (71%), duck (8%), goose (6%), turkey (3%) and muscovy duck (2%). For chicken, turkey and goose, most breeds are recorded in Europe, but largest number of duck breeds is found in Asia and the Pacific region. The proportional share of the global population size is greatest for Asia and the Pacific region for all major avian species except turkey, for which most records were from Europe. Of the 938 avian breeds of the five species, 460 (49%) breeds have been classified as being at risk of loss, whereas for 182 breeds (19%) no population data were available. Availability of recorded data differs considerably between regions and classification of breeds into the different risk status categories refers only to population within a given country. Therefore, data cannot be interpreted in a global way and the identification of breeds with highest risk of loss is complicated due to overlap of records of the same breed in different countries as well as missing data. Next steps should consequently be the strengthening of surveying and data collection activities, the improvement of breed data quality and the assessment of between breed variation by modern molecular tools as outlined in the FAO's proposed project on Maintenance of Domestic Animal Genetic Diversity (MoDAD).

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*Corresponding author: e-mail: weigend@tzv.fal.de
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World's Poultry Science Journal
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