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Przewalski’s Horse

North Asia

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Equus ferus

Endangered

  • Habitat loss
  • Hunting
  • Water pollution
  • Loss of genetic diversity

Przewalski's Horse is a type of wild horse that was discovered in the late 19th century by Russian geographer and explorer Nikołaj Przewalski. This odd-toed ungulate species is domestic to Central Asia, specifically Mongolia. Its other aliases are Mongolian Wild Horse or Dzungarian Horse. They were considered extinct during the 1960s but were reintroduced soon afterwards.

Horses such as these are smaller and more muscular than the average domesticated horse. Its underside is in a pale, cream colour while its coat varies from beige to reddish brown. A black mane lines its head to their neck and its muzzle is white. They can stand up to 48 to 56 inches tall and can weigh up to 750 pounds. These horses are naturally herbivores and can eat grass and other vegetation. Mares only give birth to one foal. Like dogs, they are particularly affectionate with their herd.

Threats to its existence are blamed on significant political and cultural changes in the countries where it can be found. Military activities, increasing land use pressure, and unregulated hunting all contribute to rapid population decline. Rarity of waterholes and competition with grazing livestock animals disperse the already small groups of horses and makes them vulnerable to hybridisation with other domestic horse species. Harsh winters and infectious diseases also had additional impact on the already small population.