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Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat

Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus przewalskii)


Historic distribution

  • Prehistoric era
    • Roamed widely over central Asia, China, and western Europe
  • Historic range not precisely known (Boyd & King 2011)
    • Several researchers suggest Eurasian steppes were home to Przewalski's horses before they were pushed into more arid Gobi Desert
  • Prior to reintroduction programs in 2000-2010s, last confirmed observation in the wild was 1969
    • Had previously been found in eastern Kazakhstan, western Mongolia, and northern China

Present-day distribution

  • Large breeding reserves established worldwide (within and outside historic range)
    • Le Villaret (Massif Central, France)
    • Buchara (Uzbekistan)
    • Hortobagy National Park (Hungary)
    • Chernobyl (Ukraine)
    • Jimsar (China)
    • Gansu National Park(China)
    • Anxi Gobi Nature Reserve (China)
  • Reintroduction projects in Mongolia
    • Takhin Tal  (since 1992)
    • Hustain Nuruu (since 1992)
    • Khomym Talyn Takhi
  • Reintroduction projects in Kazakhstan
  • Countries of occurrence
    • Mongolia
    • Kazakhstan
    • Russia
    • China
    • Ukraine
      • After reintroduction in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone (Gashchak and Paskevych 2019)



  • Known to inhabit semi-arid and steppe grasslands
    • Elevation: 100 to 1,400 m (300 to 4,600 ft) asl
  • Dense vegetation plants present
    • Saxaul (Haloxylon ammodendron)
    • Wormwood (Artemisia incana)
    • Tamarisk (Salicornia herbacea)
    • Various other grasses

Przewalski's Horse Distribution

Przewalski's horse distribution map

Przewalski's horses are incredibly rare in the wild.

Adapted from according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN).

Roaming Across Asia

Przewalski's horses once roamed widely over central Asia, China, and western Europe.

After nearly going extinct, groups from managed breeding programs are gradually being reintroduced into the species' former range.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Boyd & Houpt (1994)
Boyd & King (2011)
King et al. (2015)
Ryder (1990)
Wakefield et al. (2006)

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