Herd of Prezewalsky's Horses

The Wild Horses Of Mongolia, by Gerard M via Creative Commons


SPECIES-  Przewalski’s Horse  (Equus ferus przewalskii), the Wild Horses of Mongolia


CURRENT THREAT- Habitat Loss, Hunting, Hybridization with domestic horses


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM-  Mongolia’s Khustain Nuruu National Park, the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area, and Khar Us Nuur National Park



Przewalski’s Horse, a.k.a. Dzungarian Horse or Takhi, is a subspecies of wild horse native to central Asia’s steppes, which has recently been reintroduced into Mongolia after being declared extinct in the wild. Considered the world’s only remaining truly wild horse, the Przewalski is much stockier than its domesticated cousins, weighing in at an average of 650 pounds. They typically stand at about 52 inches (13 hands) at the shoulders, with short, stubby legs that frequently boast faint stripes. Their colors range from beige to dark brown, often with yellow and white markings on their belly and muzzle. Their tails are quite distinctive, with shorter hair and longer dock than most horses.

Przewalski’s horse in Khustain Nuruu National Park

Przewalski’s Horse in Khustain Nuruu National Park, by Chineeb via Creative Commons



Numerous caused led to the Przewalski’s Horse being declared extinct in the wild in Mongolia and China. Harsh winters in the mid-20th century, hunting, military operations in their native regions and other land use issues all worked to their disadvantage and pressured the horses onto an increasingly smaller tract of land. And a rarity of waterholes in their last Mongolian refuge may have proven the straw that broke the horse’s back. But in the years since the reintroduction program began, the biggest threats to the species’ recovery has been hybridization with domestic horses and competition for resources with domesticated livestock.



The next time some well-meaning animal rights activist tells you that zoos are inherently bad, tell them the story of the Przewalski’s Horse, a species brought back from the brink of extinction. Designated “extinct in the wild” by the IUCN for over 30 years, the species was saved by the Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of the Przewalski Horse, which launched an exchange program of captive breeding between zoos throughout the world. In 1992, 16 horses were released into the wild in Mongolia, and Khustain Nuruu National Park, the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area and Khar Us Nuur National Park are now home to several hundred wild horses. With help from organizations such as the Association Takh and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo, there are now over 300 Przewalski’s Horses living in the wild in Mongolia and China, and the species’ status was changed in 2011 from “Critically Endangered” to “Endangered.” It just goes to show that, if we’re willing to take action to save a species, it’s never too late.  –Bret Love


If you enjoyed reading Przewalski’s Horse, the Wild Horses of Mongolia, you might also like:

GLOBAL CULTURE: Tuvan Throat Singing

GLOBAL CULTURE: Huun Huur Tu (Mongolia)




26 Weird Animals Around the World

5 Responses to ENDANGERED SPECIES SPOTLIGHT: Przewalski’s Horse, the Wild Horses of Mongolia

  • Laurence says:

    Have to agree, it is never too late. I used to live on a small island where we were working to re-introduce the Seychelles Magpie Robin back into the wild. At one point they were down to 22 birds left in the wild. The numbers are now back into the hundreds. It seems like an awful lot of effort though to have to go to, when just some intelligence in the first place (not introducing cats / owls) may have let the birds get on with their own thing. Ah, people. We rock!

    • Agreed, Laurence! Unfortunately we do not have the power to change what has been: Only what will be. But when we see examples of conservation in action– whether with the Przewalski’s Horse in Mongolia or the Galapagos Tortoise or myriad other species that have been pulled back from the brink of extinction– it gives me hope that we can make a difference if only we dare to care.

  • What magnificent beasts – I’ve seen the small group they have at the open range zoo just outside Melbourne. And oddly, I’ve visited a museum in the backblocks of Kyrgyzstan dedicated to Przewalski – the explorer they are named for!

    • Very cool! Between endangered species I want to see in the wild and UNESCO World Heritage Sites and National PArks I want to visit, my travel bucket list is starting to grow unwieldy!

  • sfox says:

    The third release site is not Khar Us Nuur National Park. It is located around 130 km to the east in a river valley called Khomiin Tal. I know this because I’ve been there, also to Hustai many times and, a few weeks ago, Takhiin Tal in the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Check out our NEW Fair Trade Boutique!

Fair Trade Boutique
Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

Help Support Green Global Travel!

Each time you make a purchase on Amazon.com using the link below, we'll earn a small percentage, at no extra cost to you.


Follow Us

As Seen In:

Destinations We’ve Covered:

Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Madagascar- Ring-tailed Lemurs at Anja Reserve
Morocco- A Journey into the Atlas Mountains
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

How To Get To Antarctica w/out Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
Borneo- Sabah Ecotourism Attractions
India- Ranthambhore National Park
India- Tibetan Culture In Ladakh
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Malaysia- Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
Australia-Maria Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Photo Gallery
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tahiti- Swimming With Sharks in Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities


Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

America’s Best Volcanoes
AL- Fishing Mobile Bay
AL- Mobile Carnival Museum
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
FL- Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
HI - Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions
LA- Lafayette Cajun Food Tour
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
LA- Voodoo Museum
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Asheville's Top Ecotourism Attractions
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
TX- Sea Turtle Rescue, South Padre Island
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Cancun- Swimming with Whale Sharks
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba