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Species of the Week

November 11, 2011

Przewalski’s Horse

Przewalski’s Horse is a endangered wild horse subspecies and the sole representative of wild horses in the world. Unfortunately because of hunting , diseases , habitat destruction & inbreeding wild horses totally disappeared from the wild.

Since the ‘rediscovery’ of the Przewalski’s Horse for western science, western zoos and wild animal parks became interested in this species for their collections But it has been reintroduced to its native habitat in Mongolia and China to help save this remarkable specie from extinction.

All living Wild Horses belong to the subspecies Equus ferus przewalskii. The first visual account of Przewalski’s-type Wild Horses date from more than 20,000 years ago.

Conservation success story

Since the 1990s, reintroduction efforts have started in Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan and Ukraine; Mongolia is the only country where truly wild reintroduced populations exist within its historic range.

There are now approximately 325 free-ranging re-introduced and native-born Przewalski’s Horses in Mongolia (January 2008). All Przewalski’s Horses alive today are descended from only 13 or 14 individuals, which were the nucleus of a captive breeding programme.

In China, the Wild Horse Breeding Centre (WHBC)  has established a large captive population of approximately 183 Przewalski’s Horses in different protected reserves dedicated to conservation of free roaming Przewalski’s Horses.

The number of Captive living Przewalski’s Horses  in the International Studbook was 1,872 in early 2008.

The Przewalski’s Horse (Equus ferus) is another success story, improving its status from Critically Endangered to Endangered. Originally, it was listed as Extinct in the Wild in 1996, but thanks to a captive breeding programme and a successful reintroduction programme, the population is now estimated at more than 300.

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