Impurest's Guide to Animals #153 African Wild Ass

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Edited By ImpurestCheese

And finally we’ve reached the end of another year. Last week we met a pair of beetles frozen into the ice in a desperate struggle to survive the winter. This week the holiday hijinks has a kick in the ass, hope you guys enjoy.

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Issue #153 – African Wild Ass

[1]
[1]

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Mammalia

Order – Perssiodactyla

Family – Equidae

Genus – Equus

Species – africanus*

Related Species - The African Wild Ass is one of the seven extant species within the genus Equus (1)

*The African Wild Ass is the direct wild ancestor of the domestic donkey (Equus africanus asinus)

Range

[2]
[2]

Wild Ass

The African Wild Ass is a medium sized equid which stands at 1.4m at the shoulder, and reaches a length around 2m. The species has a dun colouring that fades to white on the underbelly and legs. All subspecies have a dorsal stripe that runs down their body, whilst the Nubian variant (Equus africanus africanus) and the domestic donkey have a stripe that crosses the shoulder in addition to the other markings. In addition the Somalian subspecies (Equus africanus somaliensis) has zebra like stripes on the legs that distinguish it from all over subspecies.

African Wild Asses are herbivores that feed on plants that grow in arid and semi-arid conditions. Because food is sparse across their range, Wild Asses don’t live in large herds like horses (Eqqus ferus) and zebra, instead preferring to live solitary lives except during the breeding season. Unlike many equids, Wild Asses don’t flee when faced with danger, but rather investigate potential threats and then react accordingly, often kicking out with both the front and back feet to defend themselves (2).

[3]
[3]

Male African Wild Asses are territorial during the breeding season, with intruding males instantly treated as subordinates and kept away from any females that are ready to breed. Like domestic donkeys, the Wild Ass has a much lower fertility rate then horses, as well as a much longer gestation period. Foals will stay with their mother for a year before leaving to find their own territories, with females breeding every other year, with the species having a potential lifespan of up to 30 years (3).

Five to Save #14 - Mammalian Herbivores

Ever since mankind first decided to move from scavenging carcasses on the savannah and decided to hunt its own prey, the ranks of herbivores that roam the plains and grassland have been hunted by humanity. And while many species have been saved to be of service to humanity, more species have become extinct or are endangered due to man’s desire for meat, as well as the horde of perils brought to their homes by the modern world.

Chousingha (Tetracerus quadriconis) Status: Vulnerable

Threats: Conservation Efforts - The only true herbivore to have four horns, the Chousingha, despite its small size, is extensively hunted by trophy hunters in its native India. It’s the conservation of habitat for the Tiger (Panthera tigris) that is the biggest threat, with the species habitat being modified to suit the needs of other endangered animals rather than its own.

[4]
[4]

Persian Fallow Deer (Dama mesopotamica) Status: Endangered

Threats: Hybridization - The Persian Fallow Deer was once abundant but overhunting reduced its numbers. In addition interbreeding with the European Fallow Deer (Dama dama) has led to the species genetic individuality being destroyed. At current, only one population remains untainted by hybridization, although lack of genetic diversity is likely to be a problem in the near future (4).

Riverine Rabbit (Bunolagusmonticularis) Status: Critically Endangered

Threats: Habitat Destruction - The Riverine Rabbit is a species that has suffered from overgrazing by domestic herbivores and the removal of riverside vegetation has led to the removal of the top soil required for burrowing. Without this breeding space had become limited, and the population has been fragmented, something that will ultimately lead to genetic stagnation.

Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) Status: Critically Endangered

Threats: Disease - The Philippines largest herbivore, the Tamaraw has been subjected to overhunting, but now the species is more threatened by cattle ranching and the spread of the disease Rinderpest from domestic cattle (Bos taurus). With a restricted population, the spread of any pestilence could prove fatal to the species.

[5]
[5]

West Caucasian Tur (Capra caucasia) Status: Endangered

Threats: Overhunting - Despite having a limited population, the West Caucasian Tur faces widespread hunting for its large horns. In addition to competition for food with domestic grazing animals, most of the hunts in the mountains that this species lives in are targeted on this species to take the horns for trophies.

Bibliography

1 -www.arkive.org

2 - Clutton-Brock, Juliet (1992). Horse Power: A History of the Horse and the Donkey in Human Societies. USA: Harvard University Press.

3 - http://www.edgeofexistence.org/mammals/species_info.php?id=13

4 - http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/6232/0

Picture References

1 - http://cdn1.arkive.org/media/11/118B7C6E-AC6A-453A-BB6E-58E2C3C2BCFF/Presentation.Large/Somali-wild-ass-galloping.jpg

2 - http://lh6.ggpht.com/_1wtadqGaaPs/TCiIs_oalFI/AAAAAAAAGg8/5ztWGDTuABc/tmp97_thumb_thumb1.jpg?imgmax=800

3 - http://library.sandiegozoo.org/factsheets/donkey/images/donkey.jpg

4 - http://antelopes.eu/index.files/image8302.jpg

5 - http://mczarinatb.weebly.com/uploads/2/3/8/8/23885925/3065598.jpg?572

And with that I head off for hibernation, ready to recharge and return next year. Until then make sure to critic, comment and suggest future issues as well as making sure you check past issues in Impurest’s Bestiary.

Happy Holidays

Impurest Cheese

Want more IGTA? For another hoofed animal, click here to see the shy Saola. Or for another endangered African mammal, click here to see the enchanting Ethiopian Wolf.

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@amazing_webhead: If only, the African Wild Ass is Critically Endangered, I doubt there is a happy ending for it in sight.

Anyway thanks for the comment story

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#4  Edited By black_wreath

Love ungulates, don't know how you restrained yourself to only one "ass" pun though.

Does the African Wild Ass have any natural predators? (Other than douchebag humans)

And happy holidays to you.

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@black_wreath: Lions are the only other major predators, and then only in areas where their ranges overlap.

To be honest, the majority of the danger comes from interbreeding with domestic donkeys, as well as subsistence hunting across its range in Somalia and Ethiopia.

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@black_wreath: Nay problem

Also ass pun in the introductory paragraph, not to mention one last issue.

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CaptainMarvel4Ever

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D'aw, it's so cute, and so cool looking too

I've never heard of this before (though... I can guess why... >_>)

Also like that you gave it High Horsepower :)

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@captainmarvel4ever: The three species of wild ass are all pretty cool, and yes the population numbers about 300 wild animals, with another 100 in captivity, so even seeing one in a zoo is quite rare.

As for High Horsepower, well Mudbray is based on the Nubian sub species of the African Wild Ass, which only has two wild populations, one if Sudan and one introduced population on the Caribbean Island of Bonaire.

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@amazing_webhead: If only, the African Wild Ass is Critically Endangered, I doubt there is a happy ending for it in sight.

Anyway thanks for the comment story

...well now i feel like a dick for joking about it <:(

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@amazing_webhead: Ah its okay, sad fact is that a lot of animals and plants besides those that are the poster children of conservation are endangered

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deactivated-5a5a76120d2ba

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African Wild Ass was the nickname of my buddy back I'm college.

Only time I have ever met a hardcore thug named Pierre.

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#16  Edited By XLR87T3

DONKEH!!!

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I don't know why, but I've always had kind of a fascination with (no this isn't a lame joke) asses (donkeys). I don't know if it's just the ones here in the US/Mexico but they make great farm (even large yard) animals. They may be on the stubborn side, but they're exceptionally affectionate, loyal, and protective. As much, if not more so, than any dog I've ever had, and VERY protective of whatever area they consider to be "theirs".

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@heroup2112: All those traits are inherited from their wild ancestors. Teams of African Wild Asses was used by the Sumars in chariot racing, so in addition to being strong they have speed equal to any horse as well.

@xlr87t3: Indeed :-P

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Cool. Nice little read.

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@mrmonster: Thanks, I can add you to the regular callout list if you want?

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#23 juiceboks  Moderator

I learned about this animal after looking up what specific ass Mudbray was based off of. Very interesting, it's so sad regarding it's population status though.

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#24  Edited By jumpstart55

See i like this one, and i,m a big fan of the Equidae family....Tag me for the others one as long its not Arthropods...I have nothing against Arthropods but their a hit or miss, some are cute and then some are just downright terrifying looking.lmao

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@jumpstart55: Sure okay.

@juiceboks: Ah cool, it is always sad indeed when something is endangered.

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Interesting. Nice blog as always Cheese. :)

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Brings back memories of when I had to write a paper on interesting animals,and I choose to write about the African Wild Ass (I could it the Zebra pony, lol). Anyway, nice blogg as always, why do they all have to be endangered, though?

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@major_hellstorm: Ah that's cool. These animals are endangered because they can't adapt fast enough to the changes humanity is inflicting on their habitat

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@impurestcheese: I know. But why? They are so cool (and cute), why is the world so harsh to them?

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@major_hellstorm: Because Nature is Red in Tooth and Claw. If your design can't adapt to environmental pressure then you go from extinct

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Such a pretty little thing with its adorable markings on its legs. Sad to know more and more animals are struggling to survive in the altered environments we've created.