The Livestock Conservancy publishes America’s list of endangered farm animal breeds and works to ensure those breeds aren’t lost to extinction. Currently, over 150 breeds representing 11 species are endangered. The list is updated each year, and classifies the livestock and poultry breeds that are in most need of conservation. Status on this list is determined by genetic uniqueness combined with census of breeding populations.
Thanks to the work of dedicated conservationists, the breeds below have successfully graduated from the Conservation Priority List and are no longer endangered.
Breeds unique to North America are listed in bold.
1 Milking Shorthorns that qualify for the “Native (N)” designation, identifying them as pure, old line, dual purpose Milking Shorthorns, as verified by the AMSS office.
2 Cattleman’s Texas Longhorn Registry.
3 Each of these has an independent, stand-alone registry and conservation program. In addition, each has contributed to the Colonial Spanish breed.
4 Includes horses whose pedigrees are absent of outcrosses after 1930.
5 This includes several different registries, each with somewhat different goals (SMR, SSMA, SBBOA, AIHR, HOA). Under this umbrella some strains have independent conservation programs and those are noted individually.
6 Includes Brabant, the European ancestor of the American Belgian, with a distinct type. The Brabant is globally rare.
7 Breed identity in poultry breeds is challenging. Many breeders of all kinds (exhibition, production, hatchery) are diligent in breeding standard-bred birds. Other breeders in each category resort to crossbreeding to achieve their goals, and yet promote their birds as standard-bred. The Livestock Conservancy is unable to validate each breeding program, but buyers are encouraged to ask if birds offered for sale are pure-bred and meet breed standards.
8 Varieties that are distinct but not APA recognized include Chocolate, Jersey Buff, Midget White, Lavender, and a host of other distinct color varieties. Does not include broad-breasted varieties, because they are not endangered.