An international working group coordinated by scientists at the Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) Institute of Zoology (IoZ) have made the remarkable recommendation to reclassify the Mongolian Przewalski’s horses, previously categorised as ‘extinct’ in the wild, to ‘endangered’ on the IUCN red list of threatened species; a move which highlights the success of recent captive breeding and reintroduction programmes.
The working group of over 60 mammal specialists was managed by IoZ scientist Jonathan Baillie to assess Mongolian biodiversity and specifically, for the first time, examine the population of Przewalski’s horses since their reintroduction programme began in the 1990’s.
“This finding is significant as it shows reintroductions can work,” said Sarah King, ZSL project manager in Mongolia. “The status change is exciting because it illustrates that the horses have adjusted well to native conditions, they are surviving and reproducing well, indicating they haven’t been weakened by captivity - which was an initial worry.”
Clare Kingston | alfa
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