EAZA Ex situ Programme (EEP)

Turkmenian kulan

(Equus hemionus kulan)

 Paweł Sroka
Institution:   Zoo Wrocław

EAZA Member Area


Wroclaw Zoo

IUCN Red List status

IUCN Red List EN


Programme roles

Direct Conservation icon  Insurance
Potentially the population of Turkmenian kulan can act as an insurance population for Central Asian populations (especially Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan). This is dependent on genetic research and a taxonomy review from the IUCN SSC Equid SG. The outcomes should confirm if the subspecies of the EEP can function as insurance population. 

 Population restoration
If the insurance population can function as a backup population for certain subpopulations and potentially be a source for population restoration (e.g central Kazakhstan).

 Training/capacity building
The EEP will collaborate with EARAZA (Eurasian Regional Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and zoos in range countries to build capacity on how to manage breeding centers and support local conservation. Knowledge will be shared on how to manage, keep records and build veterinary capacity in range with guidance towards access to proper anesthetics.

To prioritize the reduction of poaching and addressing the threats in range countries with lobbying authorities the EEP will explore how it can help support in situ conservation.

 Research (physiology)
The EEP population will be used to gather information during non-invasive stress related research (general and specific for transport) as well as on the energetics/movement patterns. This species moves over extreme distances and with great speed, but it is unknown what the benefit for the animal is to travel these distances or how it manages its energy.

 Research (Transport)
In order to improve translocation practices experiences will be gathered from transports between zoos within situ contacts and with especially experience in group transports. 
Indirect Conservation icon  Fundraise
Raise funds to support translocation activities and research into behaviour in Kazakhstan through Petra Kaczensky (NINA  and IUCN/SSC Equid Specialist group member) or the IUCN/SSC Equid Specialist Group directly

 Education (in and outside of range)
The EEP population of Turkmenian kulan within EAZA (special focus on Members and CfMs in range countries) will be used as umbrella species for desert steppe ecosystem and the movement patterns these animals show and the subsequent impact of climate change on these species. The population should be held in exhibits that represent their natural habitat and cultural background. 

Programme partners



Programme numbers

In January 2023 the Turkmenian kulan EEP had 103 animals in 28 institutions 

Programme highlights

  • In Zooquaria 110 (Winter 2020) on page 18 there is an article about the Equid TAG RCP. 
  • The EAZA Annual TAG Report 2021 has been published and on page 49 the activities of the Equid TAG have been highlighted.