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African Wild Ass (Equus africanus) & Domesticated Donkey (Equus asinus) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat

Distribution

Populations of wild asses (E. africanus) originally in North Africa from Morocco to Somalia and perhaps western Asia (Clutton-Brock 1981)

  • Found in wild today only in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia (IUCN Red List 2008)
  • Uncertain in Egypt; Sudan (IUCN Red List 2008)
  • Occupy some 23,000 sq km (8,880 sq mi ) (IUCN Red List 2014)

Domesticated and escaped feral donkeys are found world-wide.

  • Large feral populations in western Australia, estimated at 1.5 million in 1983. (Nowak 1999)
  • Populations in Death Valley (California and Nevada) nearly eliminated by BLM
  • 88,000 wild horses and burros in 10 western U.S. states.
  • Donkey populations, world-wide, especially in Africa, Asia, Latin America are increasing (Starkey & Starkey 1997)

Habitat

African Wild Asses live in arid and semi-arid bush/shrub land, grassland, and desert (IUCN 2008 Red List)

  • Inhabit the volcanic and stony Great Rift Valley of Eritrea and Ethiopia from below sea level to 2,000 m (6562 ft)
  • Marginal desert land; adapted to areas that are arid at least seasonally. (Forstén 1988)
  • Desert habitat in Eritrea and Ethiopia suffers from severe frequent droughts.

Distribution Map

Wild Ass distribution map

 

African Wild Ass distribution.

Adapted from d.-maps.com according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN).

 

Page Citations

Clutton-Brock (1981)
Forstén (1988)

IUCN Red List (2008)
Nowak (1999)
Starkey & Starkey (1997)

SDZWA Library Links