Evaluating the reintroduction project of Przewalski’s horse in China using genetic and pedigree data

  • Published source details Liu G., Shafer A.B.A., Zimmermann W., Hu D., Wang W., Chu H., Cao J. & Zhao C. (2014) Evaluating the reintroduction project of Przewalski’s horse in China using genetic and pedigree data. Biological Conservation, 171, 288-298.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in family/social groups

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in family/social groups

    A study in 2001–2012 in a desert reserve in Xinjiang province, China (Liu et al. 2014) found that following the release of captive-bred Przewalski’s horses Equus ferus przewalskii in groups, the population persisted at least 11 years but had a lower genetic diversity than two captive populations. Over 11 years after being reintroduced, the population of Przewalski’s horses increased from 27 to 99 individuals. However, reintroduced horses had a lower genetic diversity (3.3 alleles/locus) than captive horses (3.4–3.8 alleles/locus), although the result was not tested for statistical significance. In 1985–1994, two captive populations of Przewalski’s horses (founded with 22 and 18 horses imported from zoos) were established at two captive breeding facilities. In 2001, twenty-seven horses (16 females, 11 males) born in captivity within the latter population were released in small groups into a 17,330-km2 reserve. Details on horse surveys are not provided. In 2010–­2012, faecal samples were collected from 116 captive horses (66 and 50 horses from each of the two captive populations) and 52 reintroduced horses. Genetic diversity was estimated for 10 microsatellite loci.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

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