We focus on critically endangered livestock breeds because 1) they need us, 2) they are well-suited to small farm and homestead environments, and 3) it is essential to preserve the genetic diversity of livestock populations.
Why raise critically endangered livestock?
Domestic animals make a major contribution to human requirements for meat, milk, dairy products, eggs, fiber, fertilizer, and draught power. More than 4,500 breeds drawn from more than 40 animal species make these contributions.
These breeds, developed over the past 12,000 years, represent the remaining pool of genetic diversity from which future demands must be met. However, they are currently dying out at a rate of six breeds per month. 30% of the world's breeds are at risk of extinction.
These breeds possess valuable traits such as adaptation to harsh conditions, including tolerance of parasites, infectious diseases, drought, and poor quality feed. They are being replaced in both developed and developing countries by a few high production breeds which, to be successful, require high inputs, skilled management and comparatively benign environments.