Przewalk’s horse is a steppe herbivore that currently inhabits grassland and desert habitats and can survive under arid conditions when there’s access to waterholes.
Przewalski’s horse currently inhabits grassland and desert habitats. It’s been suggested that the horse is primarily a steppe herbivore that can survive under arid conditions when there is access to waterholes.
Studies of feral horses have shown that they are able to live and reproduce in semi-desert habitats but their survival and reproductive success is clearly sub-optimal compared to feral horses on more mesic grassland.
Przewalski’s horse formerly inhabited the steppe and semi-desert regions of Eurasia, but as most of this range became converted to agriculture, degraded, or was increasingly occupied by livestock, the species became restricted to semi-desert habitats with limited water resources. Lowland steppe vegetation was preferentially selected by horses at Hustai National Park and seasonal movements were affected by the availability of the most nutritious vegetation. The breadth of species consumed and dietary overlap with other ungulates increased in winter, compared to summer, although forage did not appear to be limiting. In the Gobi, the Przewalski’s horses also selected for the most productive plant communities.
Although the horse’s general elevation limit is between 1,100 and 2,000 meters, it has been reported to have lived at elevations of up to 2,438 meters, or 8,000 feet.
• Image | © Josh More, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
• Sources | Berger, 1986; Denver Zoological Foundation, 1997; Kaczensky, Ganbaatar, von Wehrden, & Walzer, 2008; King, Boyd, Zimmermann, & Kendall, 2015; King & Gurnell, 2005; Luu, 2002; Grzimek, 1990; Siestes, et al., 2009; Van Dierendonck & Wallis de Vries, 1996