How many grizzly bears are in the United States? 1,800. How many grey wolves in America? 5,443 in the lower 48 states (there is an estimated additional 7,700 -11,000 in Alaska.) How many Redcap breed chickens in the States? Fewer than 500 (and fewer than 2,000 in the world.)
There are currently twelve different chicken breeds listed as “critically endangered” and an additional twelve breeds on the “threatened” list (fewer than 1,000 in the U.S. and 5,000 worldwide) according to the Livestock Conservancy. While the WWF is fighting to protect pandas and rhinos, the Livestock Conservancy is tirelessly working to protect threatened heritage horse, cattle, donkey, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and rabbit populations.
Jeannette Beranger, the Research and Technical Programs Manager for the Livestock Conservancy joins me on the Urban Chicken Podcast to discuss the mission of this organization, some of the projects the Conservancy is currently involved in and how backyard hobbyist chicken keepers (like you and me) can help save some rare and special breeds from becoming extinct from our own backyards.
Jeannette has over 25 years of experience working with animals first as a veterinary technician and then later for several years with the Roger Williams zoo, where she eventually became the head zookeeper. For the past few years, Jeannette has worked with the Livestock Conservancy researching, educating, networking and implementing various programs and efforts to save endangered heritage livestock breeds with the Conservancy. She has a depth of knowledge on animals and particularly heritage breed livestock to share on today’s show.