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UK Biodiversity Indicators 2019. Indicator C9a – Animal genetic resources 2019

Corporate UK Biodiversity


These documents support indicator: C9a. Genetic resources for food and agriculture (Animal genetic resources – effective population size of Native Breeds at Risk).The documents include a fiche, datasheet and technical background document.

Genetic diversity is an important component of biological diversity. Rare and native breeds of farm animals are part of our cultural heritage, are often associated with traditional land management required to conserve important habitats, and may have genetic traits of value to future agriculture.

The genetic diversity in UK breeds can be assessed by the effective population size (Ne), which accounts for the total number of animals in a population and the relative numbers of sires and dams (male and female parents). A low effective population size signifies a greater likelihood of in-breeding and risk of loss of genetic diversity.

This indicator shows the change in the average effective population sizes for breeds of goats, pigs, horses, sheep and cattle classified by the UK Farm Animal Genetic Resources Committee as Native Breeds at Risk (NBAR).

Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2019·09·05

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK (2019). UK Biodiversity Indicators 2019.

The UK indicators were comprehensively reviewed during 2011 and 2012 to ensure they continued to be based on the most robust and reliable available data; and remained relevant to the new international goals and targets. Since then the indicators have been refined to improve their relevance/quality, and new indicators developed to fill gaps. In this version of the publication as many as possible of the indicators have been updated with new data. In some cases, however, development work is ongoing, and where this is the case, the work to develop them has been described briefly.

Responsible organisation
Communications, JNCC distributor

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Released under the Open Government Licence v3.0. Attribution statement "Contains public sector information from Defra, licenced under the Open Government Licence v3.0"

Metadata date 2019·09·05

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

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