Zmrtvýchvstání koně Převalského (Equus przewalskii) (Perissodactyla: Equidae) [Resurrection of Eguus przewalskii (Perissodactyla: Equidae)]
|Citation||JIŘÍ, Volf. Zmrtvýchvstání koně Převalského (Equus przewalskii) (Perissodactyla: Equidae) [Resurrection of Eguus przewalskii (Perissodactyla: Equidae)]. Lynx, new series. Prague: National Museum, 2019, 50(1), 119–132. ISSN 0024-7774 (print), 1804-6460 (online). Also available from: https://publikace.nm.cz/en/periodicals/lns/50-1/zmrtvychvstani-kone-prevalskeho-equus-przewalskii-perissodactyla-equidae-resurrection-of-eguus-przewalskii-perissodactyla-equidae|
In the late 1940s, the numbers of Przewalski’s horses (Equus przewalskii Polâkov, 1881) in the wild dramatically decreased as a consequence of a series of extremely harsh winters, competition for environment with domestic animals, and direct persecution. Last individuals in the wild were observed in the northern foothills of the Tahiyn Shar Nuruu Mts., between Mount Khalzan Burged and the Toodgi-us Spring (Gobi Desert, SW Mongolia) in May 1968. In the first half of the 20th century, the captive population of Przewalski’s horses varied between 20 and 40 individuals. This number was smaller than the number of Przewalski’s horses captured in the wild at the break of the 19th and 20th century and transported to captivity – 54 animals. In 1959, the Prague zoo organised the 1st International Symposium on Przewalski Horse; on this occasion, the Prague zoo was asked to found a studbook of captive-bred Przewalski’s horses and to organise its annual publication. After this event, a growing interest by breeders appeared and was soon reflected in a fast increase of the captive population of Przewalski’s horse: the level of 500 captive individuals was reached in 1983, a thousand in 1990. A relatively small activity of international conservation institutions was substituted by the activity of several foundations, which showed positive results namely in re-introduction of Przewalski’s horses to the wild. First horses were re-introduced from the European zoos to the Hustain Nuruu Reserve near Ulaanbaatar and to Takhin Tal in the Gobi B National Park in 1992. The total current number of almost 3,000 horses in the reserves, in a series of semi-reserves, and in zoological gardens around the world guarantees future survival of Przewalski’s horse. However, even in the future the situation of these horses needs permanent control and another help in case of need.