DistributionThere are likely fewer than 1,000 animals in the wild and the "IUCN Red List of endangered species" described it as "critically endangered". This means they face an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
A few hundred specimens live in Somalia, Somaliland, Eritrea and Ethiopia.As of 2011, there were about 200 individuals in captivity around the globe living in 34 zoos, as well as three animals in the Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve in Israel, to the north of Eilat. The international studbook is managed by Tierpark Berlin.
StatusA conservation project in Eritrea counted 47 Somali wild asses living in the mountains between the Buri Peninsula and the Dallol Depression, which is within the larger Danakil Depression, near Eritrea's border with Ethiopia.
As mentioned above, a protected population of the Somali wild ass exists in the Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve. This Israeli reserve was established in 1968 with the view to bolster populations of endangered desert species.
BehaviorDue to the limited resources found in their habitat, somali wild Asses live in a fission-fusion society. Most adults live alone, but sometimes form small herds consisting of females and their young. In areas that have more resources, or have more rain, they will sometimes fuse together to form larger temporary herds. Stallions can maintain territories as large as nine square miles. They frequently leave dung piles as markers to remind them of their territory's boundaries. While females are welcome in their territories, stallions will often fight other males who try to mate with females in their territories. However, stallions have been observed allowing males into their territories for grazing, as long as they show no interest in his harem.
HabitatThere are likely fewer than 1,000 animals in the wild and the "IUCN Red List of endangered species" described it as "critically endangered". This means they face an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
A few hundred specimens live in Somalia, Somaliland, Eritrea and Ethiopia.
ReproductionSomali wild asses typically give birth in the spring, a common characteristic among equids, after a year-long gestation. Within hours, the foal is up on its legs and keeping up with its mother. At around five days old, the foal is already nibbling grass. By the time its two weeks old, the foal is grazing regularly, however, still depending on its mother's milk for fluids. The foal is weaned by 12 to 14 months, but still stays close to its mother, only leaving to play or feed with the other foals in the herd.
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