After many years of work, the population of an endangered horse breed is growing again. In the Xinjiang region of China, a total of 487 Przewalski’s horses were counted last year.
The Przewalski horse, also known as the Asian wild horse, has long been on the Red List of endangered species. They are characterized by their short and muscular body, a standing mane and white nose. Originally, it was assumed that the animals of the Mongolian steppe were the only remaining wild horse species. Researchers, however, found that the animals were a feral variety of the first domesticated horses.
Saving the species through cloning
At the San Diego Zoo, the first Przewalski’s horse clone was born to ensure the preservation of the endangered species. This is necessary because the horse was extinct due to poaching and environmental degradation in China. Then, in the mid-1980s, it was brought from the UK, Germany and the US to the western Chinese provinces of Xinjiang and Gansu to be bred.
Population of the animals has grown
The breeding showed first successes in the year 2000. The population of the endangered horse breed increased to almost 100 animals in Xinjiang. Within the last 20 years, the trend continued. A total of 16 groups of the horse breed have been released in Xijiang and 110 wild horses have returned to the wilderness. Finally, by the end of 2020, a number of 274 animals could be recorded. This was confirmed by the director of Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding and Research Center, Yang Jianming.