By: Piet Wit and Inge Bouman
251 pages, colour photos
For tens of thousands of years wild horses roamed over the grasslands of Europe and Asia. Their endurance and agility made them the perfect partner for man during his conquest of the world. The loss of importance of the domesticated horses for the cavalries of the world coincided with the disappearance of the last horses from the wild. Around 1900 some wealthy collectors rushed to the edge of the Gobi desert to catch a few specimen from the last marginalised groups of the proud horse that scientists baptised the `Przewalski's horse', after the Polish explorer who has discovered them. Only twelve of these captured wild horses live on in their present offspring.
In the 1970s the Dutch couple Jan and Inge Bouman decided to dedicate their life to the ideal of bringing the Przewalski's horse back to the wild. This book tells their success story. It marks a breakthrough in the way we look at reintroduction projects of endangered species. The Przewalski's horse or `Takh', as the Mongolians call it, has played a catalytic role for the protection of the mountain steppe ecosystem of Hustai National Park and its surroundings. It paved the way for the development of integrated pasture management and livelihood improvement of the local herdsmen.
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