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Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus) Fact Sheet, 2008   Tags: china, conservation, domestic horse, equine, equus, extinction, fact sheet, herd, mammal, mongolia, przewalksi, san diego zoo, sdzg, wild horse  

Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus)
Last Updated: Dec 30, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus) Fact Sheet, 2008

Przewalkski's Horse trotting

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.

TaxonomyPhysical Characteristics

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Perissodctyla

Family: Equidae

Genus: Equus

Species: Equus ferus przewalkskii - Przewalski's horse

Body Weight
200-300 kg (440-660 lb)

Body Length
Male: 1.42 m (4.65 ft)
Female: 1.37 m (4.5 ft)

Tail Length
90 cm (3 ft), average

Two color types: bright yellowish-red-brown and pale grey-yellow. Mane dark brown; stands upright with no forelock. Thin stripes on legs.

Distribution & StatusBehavior & Ecology

Mongolia and northwestern China

Semi-arid and steppe grasslands; semi-desert habitats

IUCN Status

CITES Appendix
Appendix I

Population in Wild
At least 50 mature individuals

Activity Cycle
Only a little known from captive studies.

Social Groups
Engage in mutual grooming.
Little known about wild herd dynamics. Dominant stallion leads harem group.

In captivity, hay and water requirements similar to those of domestic horses.
In the wild, opportunistically feed on wild grasses and other vegetation within the limits of their habitats (constrained by agriculture).


Reproduction & DevelopmentSpecies Highlights

Sexual Maturity
4-5 years old; may be earlier or later

About 320-343 days (11 months)

Litter Size
1 foal

Birth Weight
~33 kg (66 pounds)

Age at Weaning

~20-25 years in captivity
Unknown in the wild

Feature Facts

  • Named for a Russian explorer, who collected an early specimen
  • Thick, warm coats during winter to cope with frigid weather of Mongolia, Kazakstan, and China
  • Members of a herd spend a lot of time grooming each other
  • Communicate through a variety of vocalizations
  • Dramatic population declines during WWII
  • Once extinct in the wild; reintroduced after successful captive breeding efforts
  • An endangered species

About This Fact Sheet

© 2008-2013 San Diego Zoo Global. Minor updates 2012, 2013.

How to cite: Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus) Fact Sheet, 2008. c2008-2013. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd].
(Note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)

Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to

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