Endangered Przewalski's horses graze in the meadows after they were released into a 200-hectare enclosure in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on May 27, 2020. [Photo by Zhang Hefan/for chinadaily.com.cn]
URUMQI - The number of Przewalski's horses in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region had grown to 487 by the end of 2020, according to the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding and Research Center.
The Przewalski's horse is believed to be the only wild horse species in existence today. It is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species and is under first-class national protection.
Once extinct in China due to excessive poaching and environmental degradation, the Przewalski's horses were reintroduced to the country from Britain, Germany and the United States starting in the mid-1980s, and were raised in Xinjiang and Gansu province.
In 2000, the population of this rare horse in Xinjiang increased to nearly 100, and some of them had been released to a nature reserve since 2001.
"Over the past 20 years, 16 batches of the rare horses have been released into the wild in Xinjiang. A total of 110 wild horses have returned to the wilderness and their population had increased to 274 by the end of last year," said Yang Jianming, director of the research center.
The center will release 18 Przewalski's horses into the wild over the next few months.