Estimation of abundance and territorial distribution of the Przewalski horse
The Przewalski horse is a rare animal protected both under the Red Data Book of Ukraine (2009) and the ‘Red List’ of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
It was introduced into the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone in 1998 as an ecological analogue of the wild horse that lived here several centuries ago. For 20 years this steppe species by its nature adapted to not very acceptable forest conditions, increased the number and spread. However, a man knows very little about how it was.
During the last 10 years, almost no one has conducted research of the horse. In 2018, the Chornobyl Center for Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste and Radioecology started such works involving the scientists from other enterprises of the Exclusion Zone (S. A. Paskevych, D. O. Vyshnevsky), who know the region and have experience of wildlife animals observation. The study includes the search for horses, traces of their stay, estimation of size and sex-age composition of groups, description of the sites preferred by the horses, the research of the behavior and reproduction, etc. The project objective is also to identify the sites that play the greatest role in the life of an animal, and therefore should be protected. In addition to the direct observations, the trail cameras located at the different parts of the Exclusion Zone are used in the work too.