Welcome to the Ark of Livestock Biodiversity

Join us as we track down the hidden values of the livestock breeds kept by pastoralists and other livestock keepers – breeds that are truly special because they

  • walk for miles in harsh terrain to seek out scattered, spiky, fibrous plants that survive in areas where crops could never be grown.
  • take droughts and hunger in their stride and act as insurance
  • are social animals in the true sense – living in a herd, responding to the voice of their keepers, and defending their young against predators.
  • are part and parcel of their respective eco-systems and provide a host of environmental services
  • produce delicious and healthy food as well as a range of other organic products

These breeds are the consolidated result of hundreds or even thousands years of purposeful breeding and of natural selection. They epitomize oodles of traditional knowledge and selection criteria that are important to pastoralists, but about which no animal scientist has ever dreamt, such as the urge to forage, being social, and the guts to survive droughts and other calamities.

Unfortunately, this type of sturdy livestock is threatened by extinction as the world is being taken over by livestock mono-cultures: poultry produced by two or three companies globally, white hybrid pigs, and genetically closely related Holstein Friesian cows.

This website is about our endeavours to create incentives and policy frameworks towards the survival and better utilization of these ecologically important breeds – animals that are the foundation for a more sustainable and greener approach to livestock production!