The Asian wild ass is a donkey that lives in India, Iran, Mongolia, and Turkmenistan. This donkey was once widely distributed throughout Central Asia and the Middle East, but has become extinct in most of the region. There are about five subspecies of the Asian wild ass, some of which are already extinct. Due to this background, some subspecies have been designated as endangered species and have been reintroduced in some areas.
Asian wild asses live from Central Asia to the Middle East.
The Asian wild ass is 200-250 cm long and weighs 200-250 kg. It is a perissodactous animal classified in the genus Equidae, the family Equidae, Mammalia. The ears are small and the hooves are wider than those of the African wild ass. The body color is pale yellow or reddish brown. The mane and tufts at the tip of the tail are dark brown. Asian wild asses live in desert areas and wastelands. These donkeys tend to form groups rather than solitary, forming small groups of around 10 individuals. They live in highlands in summer and along rivers in winter. This donkey is a very fast animal as it can run at 60km/h. The Asian wild ass has five subspecies. There are jigedai, Syrian asses, Indian asses, kurans and onagers.
The Asian wild ass feeds on grass and leaves. Breeding mode is viviparous. During breeding season, males start fighting over females. The gestation period lasts about six months, and breeding takes place from spring to summer. The lactation period lasts for less than a year, and a newborn child will live with its parents for a while. Males reach sexual maturity at 4 years of age and females at 2-3 years of age. The Asian wild ass has a recorded lifespan of 22 years in captivity.
There are five subspecies of the Asian wild ass, of which the Syrian wild ass is now extinct. The Asian wild ass threat is humans. It is over-harvested for human consumption and for medicinal purposes. There are also poachers who hunt donkey skins. Habitat destruction by humans is also a big problem. The Asian wild ass’s habitat is declining and fragmented. In addition, Asian wild asses are also susceptible to infectious diseases, so there are areas where they are wiped out due to mass infections. Among Asian wild asses, kuran and onager are designated as endangered species. It is also listed in Appendix II of the Washington Convention, so there are restrictions on international trade. The Asian wild ass formerly lived in Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Armenia, Iraq, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Georgia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Russia, but is now extinct in all regions. An onager breeding program has begun to save the Asian wild ass, and conservation efforts have begun.
Asian wild asses are an endangered species and international trade is restricted, so it is not easy for the general public to raise them. Admire it at the zoo or travel to Central Asia.