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by D. Phillip Sponenberg           and Carolyn J. Christman           ISBN 1887316000           Publisher: American Livestock           Breeds Conservancy

The American Livestock Breeds  Conservancy has published "A Conservation Breeding Handbook" that describes  livestock and poultry breeds as genetic resources and explains how individual  breeders can help in their conservation.

Although the handbook was written  primarily for people interested in rare breeds, it addresses subjects of  interest to all animal breeders. Among these are developing a philosophy; the  concept and practice of selection; a comparison of conservation and improvement  breeding; and the uses of breeding systems, such as inbreeding, linebreeding and  crossbreeding. The book discusses the considerations necessary in establishing a  conservation herd or flock, from choice of species and breed through purchase of  stock and participation in breed associations, registries and other networks.

"A Conservation Breeding  Handbook" includes detailed breeding programs for the genetic management of  herds or flocks as well as rescue protocols for critically rare populations. The  programs described are based in the science of genetics but include management  considerations which are essential to success.

While some experts claim that  individual breeders cannot be trusted with genetic conservation, the handbook's  authors, D. P. Sponenberg and C. J. Christman, maintain that individuals have  always been stewards of rare breeds, and the involvment of many people is the  only sure way to protect this wealth for the future. "A conservation Breeding  Handbook" is designed to equip breeders--individually and in groups--for  stewardship.

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