Conservation status can be listed for ANY variety of chicken, even crossbreeds, and breeds not recognized by the ALBC, as long as the approximate numbers are known.
The conservation status of a group of organisms (for instance, a species) indicates whether the group is still extant (that is, members of it are still alive) and if yes, how likely the group is to become extinct in the near future.
On this wiki, conservation status mostly pertains to breeds of chickens, rather than entire species, as domestic chickens are all part of the species Gallus gallus domesticus.
On most breed pages, the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) parameters will be used. They are as follows:
- Critical: Fewer than 200 annual registrations in the United States and estimated global population less than 2,000.
- Threatened: Fewer than 1,000 annual registrations in the United States and estimated global population less than 5,000.
- Watch: Fewer than 2,500 annual registrations in the United States and estimated global population less than 10,000. Also included are breeds that present genetic or numerical concerns or have a limited geographic distribution.
- Recovering: Breeds that were once listed in another category and have exceeded Watch category numbers but are still in need of monitoring.
- Study: Breeds that are of genetic interest but either lack definition or lack genetic or historical documentation.
These parameters only pertain to breeds recognized by the ALBC. The ALBC approximates the number of individual birds of a breed from the number that are registered. As many people do not register their birds though, this is just an estimate.