The National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) has conferred rare and singular species genetic recognition tag to the threatened breed of Kendrapara sheep found in Odisha.
It has received registration number INDIA_SHEEP_1500_KENDRAPADA_14042. It became the 42nd sheep breed in India to receive such tag.
The genetically rare status will help to boost conservation effort to protect these domesticated threatened sheep. Previously, two buffalo and four cattle breeds’ native to Odisha were registered at national level by NBAGR.
About Kendrapara sheep
- Kendrapara sheep is found only in coastal Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts of Odisha. Locally it is called kuji mendha.
- The average adult sheep weighs 18-20 kg and are dwarf in built with the body covered with coarse hair. They are well adapted to high ambient temperature, high humidity and heavy rain.
- Kendrapara sheep carries FecB mutation gene, which is responsible for prolificacy (multiple babies in same delivery) or multiple birth syndrome.
- This characteristic makes them distinctive from other species sheep species as they are not known for giving multiple births.
- Kendrapara sheep is second sheep breed in India (other one is Garole sheep found in West Bengal) and the sixth in the world that carries FecB mutation gene.
- Economic Significance: Multiple-birth characteristics make it a profitable livelihood source. They are primarily used for mutton production. Besides, their skin also has economic importance.
National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR): It premier institute is dedicated to work with its mandate of identification, characterization, evaluation, conservation and utilization of livestock and poultry genetic resources of the country.