GPS Tracking Being Used to Track Wild Horses

13 Dec 2016

The beautiful brown Przewalski’s horse is an endangered subspecies that once lived in Mongolia and China. The horse, that’s also known as the Asian wild horse, has never been domesticated by man, and is a distant cousin of the domestic horse. Interestingly, the Przewalski has two chromosomes more than the domestic horse.

Throughout the ‘60s, competition with livestock, habitat loss, and over hunting made the Przewalski extinct in the wild, and after years of being raised in captivity, the horses were then reintroduced into the wild in areas of Mongolia. Today, there are around 500 of these wild horses living on a permanent or semi-permanent basis in Mongolia.

Although they were raised in captivity, these rare horses still exist in their wild state, and researchers now face the task of locating and monitoring the animals to enable them to continue to thrive. This topic became particularly urgent back in 2001, when the horses were released at the Kalamaili Nature Reserve in China.

Throughout their initial harsh winter season, many of the reintroduced horses died. Because of this, the Xinjiang Forestry Department, in partnership with Germany’s Cologne Zoo, approached the Smithsonian Institute who have a reputation for using GPS equipment in their rare animal projects, to help them with GPS tracking of the wild horses.

In 2006, GPS transmitter collars were placed on a group of the wild horses in China, and because Przewalksi’s travel in herds of around five or six, one collar was enough to track each group. The project enabled the location of the horses to be tracked by satellite, as well as their travel range, the social dynamics of the groups, the environment of the locations they travel to, and their habitat preferences. Through collating this information, it’s possible to get the horses back into the wild under the right circumstances.

Fast forward to April 2016, and the first tracking project was launched in northern Mongolia’s Hustai Nuruu National Park in association with the Minnesota Zoo.

In order for the horses to have the best chance of survival, the local population has been engaging with the conservation efforts, and livestock herders living in the area have been trained in tracking the horses using handheld devices.

The species is now endangered, rather than extinct in the wild, and it’s hoped that through the GPS tracxing project, scientists will be able to identify the best habitats possible for the horses to thrive for many years into the future.



Comments are closed.

About Live View GPS

We specialize in real time GPS tracking systems. GPS tracking, GPS monitoring and management for vehicles, assets, equipment, property and persons. Whether your needs are consumer or commercial based, personal or business related we have a cost effective GPS tracking solution for you. Locate in real-time and on demand vehicles, people and property from any web based computer. View these locations on our systems integrated maps. Our GPS devices are the real deal, they are tested and proven, they work.