Przewalski’s horse Equus ferus przewalskii is the last true species of wild horse. It became extinct in the wild from its former range across the steppes of Central Asia, having last been seen in Mongolia at the end of the 1960s. Successful ongoing efforts have now resulted in the species being reintroduced from captive-bred animals. Although a conservation success story, with a relatively small wild population Przewalski’s horse remains an endangered species. Marwell has a long history working with this species, participating in early reintroduction planning processes, providing animals for reintroductions in Mongolia and Hungary, and for grazing management projects in European nature reserves.
For two decades we have kept a bachelor group of Przewalski’s horses at the Eelmoor Marsh Site of Special Scientific Interest in Hampshire. The project explores the use of conservation grazing practises, reinstating an important ‘ecological engineering’ role to the ecosystem.
Through careful management, we are developing sustainable practises for the benefit of biodiversity, recovering our site at Eelmoor Marsh, and informing the restoration of degraded habitats elsewhere. An added benefit is that this approach gives young stallions the opportunity to grow up in an appropriate and natural social setting under semi-free ranging conditions.