Concurrently to being hunted and otherwise severed from the wild, Przewalski horses were indirectly impacted by the progressive transformations of East Asian drylands throughout the Holocene period under the combined influence of various natural and anthropogenic factors, some of which are briefly discussed below.
Agricultural development and regional population growth
Domestication of most animals and plants took place between 10,000 to 5,000 years ago. Animal husbandry and cultivation were broadly adopted in Eurasia although greatly varied in time, space and intensity. On East Asian drylands (see above map), particularly grasslands where the horses lived, animal husbandry dominated agriculture over the past 5,000 years; the harsh climate and low soil fertility of such regions generally made cultivation difficult.
As population grew, so did agriculture, but contrasting trends in population growth resulted in different levels of agricultural intensification on the vast drylands. Continue reading