The Asian wild ass, also called the onager, is endangered because of overhunting, loss of habitat, and competition with livestock for grazing land.
Today it lives in small groups led by a male or a mature female, but at one time herds of fifty to one hundred individuals were sighted following rainy periods.
Asian wild asses eat mostly grasses and will travel long distances to winter feeding grounds or to seek out a watering hole that will get them through a dry summer.
They can run faster than any other horse or ass, reaching and sustaining speeds of up to about forty-four miles (70 km) per hour.
There are four subspecies, each associated with a particular area. A fifth subspecies, which once ranged from Palestine to Iraq, is now extinct.
Name: Asian Wild Ass (Equus hemionus)
Family: Equidae (Horses)
Range: Central Asia
Habitat: Steppe and desert
Diet: Grass, herbs and bark
Head and Body Length: 6.5 to 8 feet (2 to 2.5 m)
Tail Length: 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm)
Shoulder Height: 3 to 5 feet (1 to 1.4 m)
Weight: 440 to 570 pounds (200 to 260 kg)
Life Cycle: Mating April to October, varying by locale; gestation about 330 days, one foal born
Description: Reddish-brown in summer, yellowish-brown in winter; white or buff underneath; thick, black stripe on back; short legs; small feet
Conservation Status: Vulnerable
Major Threat: Habitat loss and degradation; human disturbance; hunting
What Can I Do?: Visit WWF for information on how you can help.
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