In a significant development for the animal husbandry sector of these islands, the Andamani goat, Andamani pig, and Andamani duck have been recognised as new breeds in India by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, Karnal, Haryana. Under the ‘Mission towards Zero Non-descript Animal Genetic Resources of India”, ICAR-CIARI, Port Blair, in collaboration with the Directorate of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services and the A & N Administration, have jointly taken up the initiative for characterising the native animal and poultry genetic resources. The breed characterization was conducted, and a genetic profile was completed, following which an application to register the breeds was submitted. The ICAR-Breed Registration Committee, in its meeting held on December 5, 2023, has approved the registration of Andamani goat, Andamani pig, and Andamani duck as distinct breeds.
Andamani goats are medium to short in stature, have a compact body, and are mostly black in colour. These goats are mainly distributed in the Andaman group of islands. Ears are flat and leaf-like, medium-sized, and drooping. Both sexes have small horns, curved upward and backward. The tail is medium in length and curved upward. The body weight at 12 months of age varies from 14 to 19 kg.
Andamani pigs are distributed on different islands in the Andaman group of islands. They are sturdy, medium in size, and black (mostly) or brownish in colour. Neck and back portion hairs are very thick as well as long, whereas hairs on the sides and flank regions are shorter and thinner, respectively. The most commonly observed feature is the slightly downward arch or curvature of the back (low back). They attain a body weight of 60–75 kg for males and 55–65 kg for females at 1 year of age under field conditions. Litter size at farrowing ranges from 6–13.
Andamani duck is a dual purpose breed, mainly distributed in North and Middle Andaman. They are medium-sized ducks with features such as a comparatively longer neck, a yellowish bill with a black tip, black skin, a white band around the neck, and a shorter shank as compared to other indigenous ducks.
Genetic characterization of these breeds revealed that they are adaptable to the local microenvironment of the Andaman Islands and bear high genetic diversity, indicative of their strong ability to withstand impending climate change scenarios. Therefore, the indigenous breeds are highly recommended for climate-resilient livestock farming in the Andaman Islands.