Gobi research project about wild horses, wild asses and other wildlife

Przewalski horses in the Mongolian fall
Photo of wild horses in the Mongolian fall 1
Prof.Dr.Chris Walzer with Mongolian colleagues
Photo of Prof.Dr.Chris Walzer with Mongolian colleagues 2
Release of Przewalski horses in the Gobi
Photo of release of Przewalski horses in the Gobi 3
Rangers in the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area
Photo of park rangers in the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area 4
Przewalski horses (Takhi) in Mongolia
Photo of Przewalski horses in Mongolia 5
Asiatic wild ass (Khulan) in the Gobi
Photo of Asiatic wild ass (Khulan) in the Gobi 6
The sign at the National Park House
Photo of the sign at the National Park House 7
Herd of Takhi
Photo of herd of Takhi 8
Wild Bactrian camels
Photo of wild Bactrian camels 9
Wild camel with GPS collar
Photo of wild camel with GPS collar 10

Research as a foundation for the re-introduction of wild horses

The volume of research taking place in the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area in Mongolia is considerable.  Multiple investigations of behaviour, requirements, and habitat of wild horses (Takhi or Przewalski horses) and asses (Khulan) and other wildlife, in particular the wild Bactrian camels, are being undertaken at a research station (originally established in 1992) in Takhin Valley at the border of the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area. 

The Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology is co-ordinating the research on wild equids, under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Chris Walzer and Dr. Petra Kaczensky and in co-operation with the International Takhi Group 11, der National Park Administration, and the r National University of Mongolia in Ulaan Bataar (NUM ) 12.  Their aim is to provide the scientific foundation for a successful long-term re-introduction of Mongolian wild horses.  In 2005 the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture & Environment 13 and the International Takhi Group 11 funded the construction of a new National Park Building.

Over the past 10 years many young national and international researchers completed scientific research at the  Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area.  Local wildlife rangers ensure the continuous monitoring of the wild horse population and enforce Park regulations. 

The long-term goal is to transfer enough knowledge and technology to Mongolian scientists to enable them to continue managing the project independently.  One of the young Mongolian researchers, Oyunsaikhan Ganbaatar, is now Director of the wild horse station and of the National Park Great Gobi B. 

Read more about the  Save the wild horse project 14

Info about Takhi monitoring by GPS 15

Additional photos:  ARKive Bilder 16

Reseach on wild Bactrian camels

Apart from research and management of wild equids our scientists also contribute to monitoring the populations of wild Bactrian camels that live in the Great Gobi A Strictly Protected Area in Mongolia and in the deserts of Lop Nuur and Taklamakan in China.  Relatively little is known about the habitat use of these animals.  For their continued existence it is important to know where the animals roam so that their habitat can be properly protected.   To find out more about their whereabouts, scientists repeatedly collar individual camels with GPS-satellite devices that provide valuable locational data.  In addition, genetic analyses help determine the degree of hybridization within wild camel populations and the genetic relationship to domestic Bactrian camels.

Read more about collaring wild camels in the Gobi 17

Forschungscamp im Great Gobi B Schutzgebiet

Our science sponsors

  • FWF 18, Projects 14992 & 18624
  • OeNB Projects 8977  19& 10301 20


Scientific contact

Uni.-Prof.Dr.med.vet. Christian Walzer, Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Vetmeduni Vienna

T. +43 (1) 25077-7180

Email Chris Walzer


Dr.rer.silv. Petra Kaczensky, Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Vetmeduni Vienna

T. +43 (1)25077-7181

Email Petra Kaczensky


General contact


Savoyenstraße 1
A-1160 Wien

T +43 1 25077-7900
F +43 1 25077-7941

Email FIWI