Przewalski's horse, otherwise known as P-horse, is named after Nikolai Przewalski (pronounced "shuh-val-skee"), a Russian explorer. In 1870, he was the first to discover sub-species of this horse. As a matter of fact, this animal is the last surviving true wild horse, from which the domestic horse originates. Przewalski's horse is almost the same size as related plains zebra, African wild ass, and the domesticated burro. However, this ungulate hasn't been domesticated.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
In zoology, a graminivore (not to be confused with a granivore) is an herbivorous animal that feeds primarily on grass. Graminivory is a form of g...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
A cursorial organism is one that is adapted specifically to run. An animal can be considered cursorial if it has the ability to run fast (e.g. chee...
Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching. Precocial species are normall...
Grazing is a method of feeding in which a herbivore feeds on plants such as grasses, or other multicellular organisms such as algae. In agriculture...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
A herd is a social grouping of certain animals of the same species, either wild or domestic. The form of collective animal behavior associated with...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The natural range of this species covers certain regions of central Asia. Przewalski’s horses were formerly extinct in the wild. The last time these animals had been spotted in Mongolia back in 1966. However, Przewalski's horses have been successfully re-introduced to this country, where they currently inhabit the Khustain Nuruu National Park, Takhin Tal Nature Reserve, and Khomiin Tal. Within this area, Przewalski’s horses inhabit steppes and semi-desert habitats.
The Przewalski's horses are diurnal and gregarious animals that live in small herds consisting of 10-20 individuals. Groups of Przewalski’s horses are either harems or bachelor herds. The former typically consist of a single dominant male, 10-15 females, and their offspring. The stallion (male) of the harem is responsible for mating with females as well as defending the territory against outsiders, particularly other males. Hence, he can often be seen patrolling the boundaries of the harem's territory. Community members form very close bonds with each other. They feed together and practice mutual grooming. As for bachelor herds, these are loosely organized units, members of which often travel and feed solitarily. Within bachelor herds, social grooming is rarely observed.
Przewalski’s horses exhibit a harem defense polygynous mating system, in which the lead male mates with females of his herd. They breed during the spring months, typically in April-May. The gestation period lasts for 11 months (more precisely, 320-342 days), yielding one baby called foal in April-June of the following year. Foals are born in a highly-developed state. An hour after birth, they are able to stand and begin to follow their mother. Foals begin grazing within a few weeks but are not weaned for 8-13 months after birth. They reach reproductive maturity at 2 years of age. At this time, males are chased away by the dominant male, who limits their access to the females of the herd. Females, on the other hand, disperse and join other harems.
By the 1960s, Przewalski's horses were extinct in the wild, as a result of numerous factors such as continuous hunting, conflicts with humans, degradation of their natural habitat as well as competition for resources with domestic livestock. Although these ungulates are currently re-introduced into their natural range, they still suffer from various threats. For example, they compete for food and water with the related domestic horses. Additionally, Przewalski's horses are potentially threatened by interbreeding with domestic horses.
As reported by the Desert USA resource, the total population of this species is around 1,900 individuals, about 1500 of which inhabit the world's zoos and breeding reserves, while the remaining 400 compose re-introduced populations, which currently live in wildlife reserves, located within the original range of these animals. As stated on the IUCN Red List, the total number of all Przewalski’s horses in the world is 1,988 animals, including 1101 females, 883 males as well as 4 individuals whose gender is unknown. Meanwhile, Mongolia holds 387 free-ranging reintroduced and native-born individuals, which live in 3 areas of re-introduction. Overall, the species is currently classified as Endangered (EN), but its numbers are increasing.