Przewalski's Wild Horse

"The Mongolian Wild Horse" by Terryl Whitlatch (pencil, Copic sketchmarkers, digital photocopier and digital)

 
My favorite animals of all time and eternity are horses and anything vaguely equine, so naturally, I chose to portray one of the founding species of the domestic horse, the Mongolian, or Przewalski’s, Wild Horse (the other founding species being the Tarpan). No other animal has been so vital to the human imagination and civilization, and nations have risen and fallen on and from the back of the horse. Horses are the true, living Dream Machines, and we owe so much to them, not the least to protecting the seed from which they sprang.
— Terryl Whitlatch

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Habitat

Przewalski's horses once ranged throughout Europe and Asia. Competition with man and livestock, as well as changes in the environment, led to the horse moving east to Asia, and eventually becoming extinct in the wild. Today they can only be found in reintroduction sites – on the plains and prairies—in Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan.

Family Life

Map__Przewalskis Wild Horse.jpg

Przewalski's horses live in groups that contain several mares, a dominant stallion, and their offspring. There may also be younger stallions on the periphery of the herd or in a bachelor herd. These young stallions will only be allowed to breed if they defeat the dominant stallion. Once offspring reach breeding age, they are chased out of the herd.

Lifespan

Przewalski's horses may live up to 36 years of age.

Hunting Habits/Diet

Przewalski's horses graze on grass and leaves from shrubby trees. Like zebras and donkeys, they also consume large amounts of water and low quality food.

Population

Around 2010, Przewalski horses were officially reclassified as being endangered. This makes them one of the few animal species that were once classified as extinct, only to come back and thrive. As of 2011 there are 306 free-ranging reintroduced and native-born Przewalski's horses in Mongolia.

Fun Fact

Przewalski's horses are called "takhi," which means "spirit" in Mongolia.

Why are they Endangered?

Przewalski’s horse dwindled to near extinction by the early part of the 20th century due to a combination of hunting for meat and interbreeding with domesticated horses.

Status

Endangered

Sources

Przewalski Horse foal (Equus ferus przewalskii) on the meadow