New to the Conservation Priority List this year:

  • The Puerto Rican Paso Fino, listed as Threatened, is an old breed of gaited horse important throughout the Americas.
  • Brabant horses, listed as Study, are an important heavy draft breed from Belgium.
  • Teeswater sheep, listed as Critical, is a hardy meat and wool production breed. Their low global numbers mean American breeders contribute to the breed’s international survival.
  • Silver Marten rabbits, listed as Critical, first appeared in the 1920s with their unusual color pattern. These gentle rabbits have a black top color with white under the chin, belly and tail, inside the ears and nostrils and delicately rimmed eye circles.
  • Argent Brun rabbits, listed as Threatened, disappeared in the early 20th century, but were revitalized in the early 1940s. They are friendly, with a stunning silver frosted brown coat.
  • Checkered Giant rabbits, listed as Threatened, were introduced to the U.S. in 1910. Also known as the Giant Papillon, they have a distinctive butterfly shaped marking.
  • Standard Chinchilla rabbits, listed as Threatened, arrived in America in 1923 as the smallest of the Chinchilla breeds. They strongly resemble the South American Chinchilla, which is not a rabbit species.
  • Palomino rabbits, listed as Watch, are also known as The American Beige or Washingtonians. They are either pearl gray with diluted orange-beige or golden brown.

Rabbits are an important beginner animal for many heritage livestock breeders. During the past year rabbit breeds were more deeply investigated, which lead to many changes on our Conservation Priority List, including moves between categories:

  • Belgian Hare and Silver Fox rabbits made the biggest change, graduating from Threatened to Recovering.
  • American and American Chinchilla rabbits graduated from Threatened to Watch.
  • Beveren rabbits graduated from Watch to Recovering.
  • Crème d’Argent rabbits moved from Recovering to Threatened.
  • Blanc de Hotot and Silver rabbits moved from Threatened to Critical.

Another notable move on the Conservation Priority List this year is the Large Black pig breed, which fell from Threatened to Critical after a detailed census of registrations. This international breed is endangered in all countries where it’s found.