Rewilding horses in Europe
The European wild horse is strangely enough both extinct and at the same time still present. Officially it is extinct since the early 1900s, but at the same time its genome is not lost and still exists across several types of old, original horses: from Exmoors in the west to Huculs in the east of the old continent.
Several primitive horse types still have many of the characteristics and genetics from the original wild horse and are very fit for rewilding, regaining their rightful place in the European ecosystems. Rewilding horses means to work towards a future wild horse and should not be mistaken with rebuilding extinct wild horses from the past. The rapidly growing knowledge about the many types of the extinct wild horse will be used to choose the right breeds and characteristics of existing horses for rewilding purposes.
Leo Linnartz from ARK Nature and Renee Meissner from Herds & Homelands are the authors of “Rewilding horses in Europe”. The report was made possible by a generous grant from the Liberty Wildlife Fund in The Netherlands.