Conservation priorities and optimum allocation of conservation funds for Vietnamese local chicken breeds

The objectives of this study were to estimate conservation potential of Vietnamese local breeds and to investigate optimal allocation of conservation funds to maximize genetic diversity conserved between these breeds. Twenty-nine microsatellites were genotyped in 353 individuals from nine Vietnamese local chicken breeds and two chicken breeds of Chinese origin. The Vietnamese chicken breeds were sampled from the northern and southern parts of Vietnam while the two Chinese breeds have been kept as conservation flocks at the National Institute of Animal Sciences, Hanoi. The Weitzman approach was used to assess alternative strategies for conserving genetic diversity between breeds. Three different models, which reflect the range of possible functions in typical conservation situations, were applied. An average extinction probability of 48.5% was estimated for all Vietnamese chicken breeds. The highest conservation potential was found in the Te, Dong Tao and Ac chicken breeds, whereas the lowest corresponding values were observed in the Ri and Mia chicken breeds. The conservation funds were mainly allocated to the same three breeds (Te, Dong Tao and Ac) under all three models. This study suggests that conservation potential of the Vietnamese chicken breeds varies considerably. Population priorities for allocation of conservation funds in this study do not depend on the cost model used. The three breeds (Te, Dong Tao and Ac) with the highest conservation potential should be the prime candidates to be allocated conservation funds if the conservation budgets are limited



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