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Population Size, Density, and Distribution

Overpopulation is a historic concern, by studying patterns of natural populations we can learn ways to prevent our population from overgrowing.

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Wild Horses
Teacher Contributed

Return To The Wild

Why It Matters

Wild Horses

Horses are iconic to many people. A relatively late comer to the list of domesticated animal species (find out more information here: http://archaeology.about.com/od/dterms/a/domestication.htm) but integral to many cultures and essential to some lifestyles. Mongolians are a wonderful example of "horse people". Horses have been a part of their culture and identity for as long as recorded history. Mongolia is also the last place on earth where you can find truly "wild horses".

You may not enjoy the music but watch the movements and interactions of the Takhi and the landscape they are moving through (feel free to mute the video if you wish).

Unfortunately, declines in Takhi populations following World War II led to the eventual extinction of the Takhi in the wild. Fortunately, they have been successfully reintroduced to the wild and are doing well. Find out more from this video.

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Use the below resources to answer the following questions

  1. How may climate change be affecting the efforts to revive the Takhi populations?
  2. Is The Takhi ancestral to domestic horses?
  3. Do you agree that for an animal reintroduction to be successful it has to occur in an area free of humans? Explain your thinking and be specific in your reasoning.
  4. List one positive and one negative consequence of captive breeding, explain your answers.
  5. In what type of biome do the Takhi live?
  6. What are some of the suspected reasons for the marked declines in Takhi populations after World War II?
  7. When did horses disperse from North America to Asia?

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