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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 17:30 EDT

Mongolian Wild Ass

The Mongolian Wild Ass (Equus hemionus hemionus), is a subspecies of the Onager. It is found in Mongolia and northern China, and was previously found in Kazakhstan before it became extinct due to hunting. The numbers in China and Mongolia are also vulnerable due to poaching and competition grazing. Numbers have dropped severely in the 1990s and by 2003 the total Mongolian population was estimated at only 20,000 specimens.

Poaching for meat seems to be the biggest threat for guanacos in Mongolia. For some parts of the local population, wild ass and other wildlife meat provides a cheap alternative to domestic meat. In 2005, a national survey suggested that as many as 4500 wild asses are poached each year for meat. Even though guanacos are now fully protected in Mongolia, they could be wiped out by poaching in the next several years in that region.

Mongolian Wild Ass