Abstract: Ethiopia is endowed with diverse cattle genetic resources adapted to various local environmental conditions and acquired unique features. Describing of the unique characteristics, the necessity and urgency to understand and utilize these genetic resources is respond to the needs of the people of the nation and to the benefit of Ethiopian cattle producers. Thus, this review is aimed to summaries the cattle genetic resources, their unique features, main causes of threat for survival and to recommend on their improvement and conservation strategies. Today, we find a variety of genetically diverse population from Bos taurus to Bos indicus species with unique adaptation characteristics in Ethiopia. These cattle breeds are found all across the country from the rift valley highlands as well as below sea level in the Afar depression. However, despite the potentials of these diversified genetic resources, their unique genetic features, these cattle breeds are at risk to disappear rapidly following uncontrolled cross breeding, breed replacements with exotic breeds and other challenges. Breed improvement programs of Ethiopian indigenous cattle remain too few while the demand of livestock products is continually increasing. This situation therefore demands the need to devise strategies to conserve and improve the cattle breeds based on the challenges that threatens them. Use of genomic study is also imperative to facilitate the genetic restoration process. Besides, uses of new information technologies which can enhance the conservation and improvement program are very crucial. Various ongoing development interventions like Artificial Insemination and introduction of genotypes into new environments that are exacerbating threat of the breeds should be revised and a sound approaches for cattle Conservation and improvement programs should be redesigned. Strict regulations and bylaws should also be in place for illegal movement of breeding cattle to the neighboring countries.
Keywords: Unique, Genetic Resources, Indigenous Cattle,