Wild Horse Conservation in Mongolia. 

Citizen Scientists are needed immediately to help monitor the wild horses of Mongolia and ensure their survival. Support our partner in Hustai National Park as they conserve and protect important ecosystems and reintroduce and sustain these amazing horses.

The Takhi, Mongolian for “spirit”, are a rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse native to the steppes of central Asia. They are the last remaining breed of truly wild horse and are an important part of Mongolian culture and a symbol of their national heritage. At one time the Takhi roamed freely from Mongolia and China in the east, to as far as France in the west. Loss of habitat gradually limited their range to the steppes along the Mongolia-China border. This is where they were “discovered” in 1881 by the Russian colonel and explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky who had embarked on an expedition to find the horses, based on rumors of their existence. The horse was named after him, and they are known outside Mongolia as Przewalski’s horses.

The native population declined in the 20th century due to a combination of factors, with the wild population in Mongolia dying out in the 1960s. Competition with livestock, hunting, capture of foals for zoological collections, military activities, and several exceptionally harsh winters are the main explanations for this drastic decline in the Przewalski's horse population. The last herd was sighted in 1967 and the last wild horse in 1969. At one time only 12 captive Przewalski’s horses were left in the world, and their future was bleak. Luckily successful captive breeding programs were started in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and included the Dutch Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of the Przewalski horse, founded by Jan and Inge Bouman. The Foundation started a program of exchange between captive populations in zoos throughout the world to reduce inbreeding, and later began a breeding program of its own. Chinese researchers also began to breed Przewalski's horses in captivity, and their programs have also been very successful.

The captive breeding programs were so successful that in just fifty years the species rebounded to over 1500 individuals by the early 1990s. Captive bred horses were slowly reintroduced to their native Mongolian habitat in an attempt to reestablish the wild population. The Takhi reintroduction project at Hustai National Park started in 1992, spear-headed by Jan and Inge Bouman and well known Mongolian researcher Tserendeleg Jachin. There are over 220 Takhi in the park today.

Our partner oversees the Tahki in Hustai National Park, which is located about 95 km west of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Their mission is to conserve the ecosystems and biodiversity in the park, protect historical stone monuments, build up the wild Takhi population, organize national and international workshop and meetings, and develop eco tourism to support the local communities around the park. And they need your help! Volunteers work side by side with the researchers, helping to collect information about the Tahki. You will be observing the horses in the field, noting their behavior, the growth of the foals, and their numbers and distribution. The data and information collected by eco-volunteers is used by the resident biologists and researchers to help them manage the reintroduction of Takhi into the wild, and to aid the study and protection of the forest-steppe ecosystem. Immerse yourself in a truly Mongolian experience, living in a traditional felt yurt in camp, while you help protect this endangered and amazing species.

Includes: Airport pick up and drop off (from the airport in Ulaanbaatar), accommodation, meals, on-site training, donation to Placement Partner, Day trips to tour a national park, tour the capital city and / or visit a local nomadic family, AEI Travel Manual, Partner Organization’s volunteer handbook, $10 Credit in our Zazzle store (towards the purchase of recycled water bottles, reusable bags, etc), American and Canadian clients get 50% off at the online AEI IceBreaker store, Emergency support while at Placement, Carbon credits to offset 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, Premium Individual Travel Insurance (up to $500, 000 USD in emergency medical coverage), Travel discounts (through automatic membership to a volunteer only travel discount program), 24/7 Travel and emergency assistance. Are you thinking of fundraising for a portion, or all your fees? Many of our clients have been very successful with their fundraising efforts. To learn more about their successful fundraising projects and see how you can fund raise for your experience, please visit our fundraising page!

Excludes: Flights, Entry visa costs, International and domestic airport taxes, Immunizations and medications. Note: The rabies vaccine is not required for this Experience however, if volunteers are interested in becoming rabies vaccinated, the average cost is $600- $1000 in North America.

Accommodation: While in Husai National Park, volunteers stay in shared yurts at the location of the project. Accommodation is comfortable but simple. The camp is equipped with a shower, toilet and restaurant. Electricity is available at this location, however cell phone signal is limited. There is no internet access on-site, however when in Ulaanbaatar there are internet cafés available. Three meals will be provided for you each day. Are you nervous about travel and your safety? It's okay, travelling and volunteering can be overwhelming, that is why we exist! To help you travel safe, volunteer smartly and get back home in one piece. To read more about how we help you stay safe, please read our Guide to Safety.

Volunteer activities: Standard volunteer activities include daily monitoring of the Tahki harem. This includes observing the behaviour of the bachelor horses, the growth and behaviour of the foals, and the population and distribution of the horses. Twice a month volunteers also help count the number of wildlife in the park and monitor vegetation. Other activities available to volunteers include riding horses at the camp, participating in day trips and teaching English to local children.

This is an ongoing program that runs between May 15th and October 15th each year. During this time block we work with you and your schedule so you can serve this community and help animals when you are available.

Classification of Placement: Standard: Entry and Advanced.

All classifications of volunteers are needed by this Placement partner and we encourage you to apply no matter your skill or experience level. However, if you are looking for a Placement to use your specific skills, the professionals who would be most beneficial to this placement would be volunteers with experience in: fundraising and construction.

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OAVTThis is an official pre-approved OAVT Partnership. All participants are eligible for a minimum of 5 Continuing Education credits.
Trip Cost
length of stay
2 weeks $ 2101
3 weeks $ 2689
4 weeks $ 3250
Groups of 5 or more: 10% off individual fees.