Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Perissodactyla > Equidae > Equus > Equus asinus

Equus asinus (ass; burro (feral); burro; African wild ass)

Synonyms: Asinus vulgaris; Equus africanus asinus; Equus asinus asinus; Equus asinus palaestinae

Wikipedia Abstract

The donkey or ass (Equus africanus asinus) is a domesticated member of the horse family, Equidae. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African wild ass, E. africanus. The donkey has been used as a working animal for at least 5000 years. There are more than 40 million donkeys in the world, mostly in underdeveloped countries, where they are used principally as draught or pack animals. Working donkeys are often associated with those living at or below subsistence levels. Small numbers of donkeys are kept for breeding or as pets in developed countries.
View Wikipedia Record: Equus asinus

Invasive Species

Equus asinus (donkeys) resemble horses and are characterised by their large head, long ears and cow-like tail. They can be found in tropical savannas and arid hill country in Australia and other arid and desert habitats elsewhere in its range. In its invasive range, Equus asinus have deleterious and potentially irreversible impacts on native flora and fauna. Damage has been documented in plant communities, soils, wildlife and water quality. Management of this species can be difficult. Cultural pressures prevent lethal methods of management from being used. Typical management techniques involve removing the species from their natural habitat and placing them in reserves where they will not pose a threat. The growing number of feral donkeys, roaming free across Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia propitiate extensive hybridisation with their wild relative Equus africanus and thus contribute to the extinction of the E. africanus.
View ISSG Record: Equus asinus

EDGE Analysis

The African wild ass is a hardy animal which is well adapted to desert life. It can sustain water loss of up to 30% of its body weight, and can drink enough water in two to five minutes to restore fluid loss. The species was domesticated about 6,000 years ago, and is mentioned frequently in the Bible. Domestic donkeys are now found all over the world, yet only a few hundred of their wild ancestors survive. Populations of wild asses are decreasing as a result of hunting, competition with livestock for limited desert resources, and hybridization with domestic donkey.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 11.33
EDGE Score: 5.28
View EDGE Record: Equus asinus


Adult Weight [1]  363.76 lbs (165.00 kg)
Birth Weight [1]  66.14 lbs (30.00 kg)
Female Maturity [1]  1 year 11 months
Male Maturity [1]  2 years 9 months
Diet [2]  Herbivore
Diet - Plants [2]  100 %
Forages - Ground [2]  100 %
Gestation [1]  11 months 29 days
Litter Size [1]  1
Maximum Longevity [1]  47 years
Weaning [3]  1 year 1 month


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Ethiopian xeric grasslands and shrublands Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Mediterranean acacia-argania dry woodlands and succulent thickets Morocco, Spain Palearctic Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub
Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia Palearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Mediterranean dry woodlands and steppe Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia Palearctic Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub
Mediterranean woodlands and forests Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia Palearctic Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub
Sahara desert Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Algeria, Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Niger Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Sahelian Acacia savanna Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Somali Acacia-Commiphora bushlands and thickets Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
South Saharan steppe and woodlands Mauritania, Mali, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Tibesti-Jebel Uweinat montane xeric woodlands Chad, Libya Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
West Saharan montane xeric woodlands Algeria, Niger, Mali, Mauritania Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Bandelier National Monument V 8107 New Mexico, United States
Canyonlands National Park II 335430 Utah, United States
Carlsbad Caverns National Park II 15448 New Mexico, United States
Death Valley National Park II 762125 California, Nevada, United States
Lake Mead National Recreation Area V 670229 Arizona, Nevada, United States
Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve 5901 California, United States  
Purnululu National Park II 604999 Western Australia, Australia
Wadi Al Alaqi Multiple Use Management Area 7413161 Egypt      

Prey / Diet

Cercidium floridum (Blue Palo Verde)[3]
Plantago ovata (desert Indianwheat)[3]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Callipepla gambelii (Gambel's Quail)1


Cathartes aura (Turkey Vulture)[4]
Coragyps atratus (Black Vulture)[4]


Parasitized by 
Anoplocephala magna <Unverified Name>[5]
Coronocyclus coronatus <Unverified Name>[6]
Coronocyclus labiatus <Unverified Name>[6]
Cyathostomum alveatum <Unverified Name>[6]
Cylicocyclus adersi <Unverified Name>[6]
Cylicocyclus brevicapsulatus <Unverified Name>[6]
Cylicocyclus ultrajectinus <Unverified Name>[6]
Cylicotetrapedon asymmetricus <Unverified Name>[6]
Draschia megastoma[6]
Echinococcus granulosus[6]
Fasciola hepatica (common liver fluke)[6]
Gastrodiscus aegyptiacus <Unverified Name>[6]
Gastrodiscus secundus <Unverified Name>[6]
Gongylonema pulchrum[6]
Haematopinus asini (horse sucking louse)[4]
Hsiungia pekingensis <Unverified Name>[6]
Oesophagodontus robustus[6]
Oxyuris equi[6]
Parascaris equorum[6]
Petrovinema skrjabini <Unverified Name>[6]
Poteriostomum ratzii <Unverified Name>[6]
Poteriostomum skrjabini <Unverified Name>[6]
Pseudodiscus collinsi <Unverified Name>[6]
Ratemia squamulata[4]
Schistosoma japonicum <Unverified Name>[6]
Strongyloides westeri[6]
Strongylus edentatus[6]
Strongylus equinus[6]
Strongylus vulgaris (blood worm)[6]
Trichostrongylus axei[6]
Triodontophorus minor <Unverified Name>[6]
Vermipsylla minuta[7]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Aalborg Zooasinus
AB Furuviksparken
Africa Alive!somalicus
Africam Safari (Africam, S. A.)asinus
Al-Wabra Wildlife Preservationsomalicus
Almaty State Zoo of Kazakhstan
Amarillo Zooasinus
Apenheul Primate Parkasinus
Artis Zooasinus
 asinus miniature
Assiniboine Park Zooasinus sardinian_dwarf
Attica Zoological Park S.A.somalicus
Audubon Zooasinus sicilian_dwarf
Badoca Safari Parkasinus
 asinus burro
Banham Zoo Ltd.asinus miniature
 asinus poitou
Bergen County Zoological Parkasinus
Binder Park Zooasinus
Bioparc Valencia
Blaavand Zooasinus
 asinus poitou
Blackpool Zooasinus miniature
Bramble Park Zoo
BREC's Baton Rouge Zooasinus
Bronx Children's Zooasinus
Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservat'n Society
Buffalo Zoological Gardensasinus
Bursa Zoo (Bursa Hayvanat Bahcesi)asinus miniature
Camperdown Wildlife Centre
Chahinkapa Zooasinus
Chiangmai Zoological Gardenasinus
Chicago Zoological Parkasinus miniature
Children's Zoo at Celebration Squareasinus
 asinus standard
City of Belfast Zooasinus miniature
Cleveland Metroparks Zooasinus miniature
Colchester Zooasinus miniature
Cosley Zooasinus burro
Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardensasinus miniature
Curraghs Wildlife Parkasinus
Dakota Zooasinus
Dallas Zooasinus miniature
Dept. of National Zoological Gardens
Detroit Zoological Societyasinus miniature
Dickerson Park Zooasinus
Dierenpark 'De Vleut' (Zoo Best)asinus miniature
Dierenpark Amersfoortasinus miniature
Dierenpark Emmenasinus miniature
Dierenrijk Europa
Disney's Animal Kingdomasinus miniature
Drusillas Zoo Parkasinus miniature
DSI Givskud Zoo
El Paso Zoo
Erie Zoological Gardensasinus
Faunia (Parque Biologico De Madrid,SA)africanus
Flamingo Land LTDasinus miniature
Folly Farm Leisure Ltdasinus miniature
Forest Park Zoological Society
 asinus miniature
GaiaPark, Kerkrade Zooasinus
 asinus poitou
Greater Vancouver Zooasinus
Guadalajara Zooasinus
Guldborgsund Zoo & Botanical Garden
Happy Hollow Zooasinus
Henson Robinson Zoo
Hope Zoo (Nature Preservation Found.)asinus
International Animal Exchange, Inc.asinus
Izmir Zoo / Izmir Dogal Yasam Parkiasinus
Jyllands Park Zoo
Kansas City Zooasinus miniature
Kazan Zoological & Botanical Gardenasinus abkhasian
Kishinev Zooparkasinus moldavian
Knoxville Zoological Gardensasinus miniature
Knuthenborg Safariparkasinus miniature
Kristiansand Dyrepark ASAasinus
 asinus miniature
Lake Superior Zoological Gardensasinus
Lion Country Safari Inc - Florida
Little Rock Zoological Gardensasinus
Louisville Zoological Garden
Magnetic Hill Zoo
Marwell Wildlifesomalicus
Maryland Zoo in Baltimoreasinus miniature
Münchener Tierpark Hellabrunnasinus martina_franca_apulian
 asinus sardinian_dwarf
Memphis Zoological Garden & Aquariumasinus
Menagerie du Jardin des Plantesasinus
 asinus poitou
Mesker Park Zoo
Miami Metrozoosomalicus
Miejski Ogrod Zoologiczny w Lodzasinus
Miejski Ogrod Zoologiczny Warsawasinus
Miejski Ogrod Zoologiczny Wybrzeza
Miejski Ogrod Zoologiczny, Plockasinus
 asinus poitou
Milwaukee County Zoological Gardensasinus sicilian_dwarf
Mokopane Biodiversity Conservation Centreasinus
 asinus common_spanish
Mulhouse Zooasinus poitou
Nagoya Higashiyama Zoosomalicus
Nagyerdei Kultúrpark KHT.
Nakhon Ratchasima Zool. Park
Nashville Zoo at Grassmereasinus sicilian_dwarf
Nat'l Zoological Gardens of S. Africaasinus
Natural Science Center of Greensboroasinus
Neunkircher Zoologischer Garten GmbHasinus
 asinus poitou
Nikolaev Zoo of Nikolaev-City Council
Noah's Ark Zoo Farmasinus
NY State Zoo at Thompson Parkasinus miniature
Nyíregyházi Állatpark Nonprofit KFTasinus
Oatland Island Wildlife Center
Odense Zoologiske Have
Odsherreds Zoo Dyrepark A/S
Oglebay's Good Children's Zooasinus miniature
Ogrod Zoobotaniczny Torunasinus
Ogrod Zoologiczny im. Stefana Milera
Ogrod Zoologiczny w Opolu, Opole
Ogrod Zoologiczny w Poznaniu
Oklahoma City Zoological Parkasinus miniature
Opel-Zoo von Opel HessischeZoostiftung
Orana Wildlife Park
Orange County Zooasinus
Papiliorama Swiss Tropical Gardensasinus miniature
Parc de la Haute Touche (MNHN)asinus poitou
Parc de Lunaret
Parc Merveilleuxasinus poitou
Parc Zoologic de Barcelonaasinus catalan_austean
Parc Zoologique d'Amiens
 asinus miniature
Parc Zoologique d'Amnevilleasinus
Parc Zoologique de La Palmyreasinus poitou
Parco Zoo di Falconaraasinus sardinian_dwarf
Park i Ogrod Zoologiczny w Krakowieasinus
Parque Recreativo y Zool. Piscilago
Peoria Zoo in Glen Oak Parkasinus
Phoenix Zooasinus
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquariumasinus miniature
Planete Sauvage
Pocatello Zooasinus
Podkrusnohorsky Zoopark Chomutovasinus
Potter Park Zoological Gardensasinus
Pueblo Zooasinus miniature
Queens Zooasinus
Ranua Wildlife Parkasinus
Ree Park - Ebeltoft Safariasinus
Reserve Africaine de Sigeansomalicus
Riga Zooasinus
 asinus poitou
Riverside Zooasinus
Riverview Park & Zooasinus sicilian_dwarf
Roger Williams Park Zooasinus miniature
Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventureasinus
Rome Zoo-Fondazione Bioparco di Romaasinus
Roosevelt Park Zoo
Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Parkasinus
 asinus miniature
Rostock Zoologischer Gartenasinus
Safari de Peaugresasinus poitou
Saint Louis Zoological Parksomalicus
Saitama Children's Zooasinus
San Diego Wild Animal Parkasinus
San Francisco Zoological Gardens
Sedgwick County Zooasinus mammoth_jackstock
 asinus miniature
 asinus poitou
Sequoia Park Zooasinus miniature
Silesian Zoological Garden
Six Flags Discovery Kingdomasinus
Skaerup Mini Zooasinus poitou
Smithsonian National Zoological Parkasinus miniature
Staten Island Zooasinus
Szeged Zoo
Taipei Zoo
Tampa's Lowry Park Zooasinus
Tautphaus Park Zooafricanus
 asinus sardinian_dwarf
Terra Natura S.A.
The Hawk Conservancyasinus miniature
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardensasinus
The Philadelphia Zooasinus miniature
The Tisch Family Zoological Gardensasinus
Thoiry Zoological Parkasinus
Thuringer Zoopark Erfurtasinus poitou
Tiergarten Bernburgasinus
Tiergarten der Stadt Nürnbergasinus
 asinus poitou
Tiergarten der Stadt Welsasinus
Tiergarten Heidelbergasinus poitou
Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde GmbHasinus poitou
Tierpark Dählhölzliasinus
Tierwelt Herbersteinasinus
Toronto Zooasinus miniature
Trotter's World of Animalsasinus
Tulsa Zoo & Living Museumasinus sicilian_dwarf
Turtle Back Zooasinus
Twycross Zooasinus miniature
Ueno Zoological Gardens
Usti nad Labem Zoosomalicus
Utica Zooasinus
Virginia Zoological Parkasinus sardinian_dwarf
Washington Park Zoological Gardensasinus sicilian_dwarf
Western North Carolina Nature Centerasinus
Westfalischer Zoologischer Gtn Munsterasinus poitou
Whipsnade Wild Animal Parkasinus
 asinus poitou
White Oak Conservation Centersomalicus
Wild Animal Park Mechelen Planckendaelasinus miniature
 asinus poitou
Wildlife Safari Incasinus burro
Wilhelma Zoo
Woburn Safari Parkasinus
Woodland Park Zoological Gardensasinus
Wroclaw Zoo, LLCasinus
 asinus poitou
Xantus János Állatkert Kht.asinus
Zivalski vrt Ljubljanaasinus
Zoo and Aqua-Terrarium Ltd. Pécs
Zoo Aquarium de Madrid (GRPR)
Zoo de La Flecheasinus
Zoo de Pont-Scorffasinus
Zoo de Santillana y Parque Cuaternarioasinus
Zoo Decin - Pastyrska Stenaasinus
Zoo Dortmundasinus
Zoo Dresden GmbHasinus
Zoo Duisburg AGasinus
Zoo Dvur Kralove, a.s.somalicus
Zoo Hannover GmbHsomalicus
Zoo Krefeld GmbHasinus
Zoo Melakaasinus
Zoo Negara Malaysiaasinus
Zoo New England, Franklin Park Zooasinus poitou
 asinus sardinian_dwarf
Zoo Parc de Beauval
Zoo Safari Swierkocin
Zoo Santo Inácio Vila Nova de Gaia
Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicienasinus
Zoo Zürichasinus
Zoological Center Tel Aviv - Ramat Ganasinus
Zoological Garden of Polish Faunaasinus
Zoological Society of Londonasinus
Zoologicka zahrada Ostravaasinus
Zoologicka zahrada Bojniceasinus
Zoologicka Zahrada Bratislavaasinus
Zoologicka Zahrada Kosice
Zoologicka zahrada Liberecsomalicus
Zoologicka zahrada Olomoucasinus
Zoologická a botanická zahrada Plzenasinus
Zoologico De Vallarta
Zoologico Nacional La Auroraasinus
Zoologischer Garten Augsburg GmbHasinus spotted
 asinus standard
Zoologischer Garten Baselsomalicus
Zoologischer Garten Halle GmbHasinus
Zoologischer Garten Leipzigasinus
Zoologischer Garten Saarbrueckenasinus
 asinus poitou
Zoologischer Garten Wuppertal
ZooWorld Zoological Botanical Conserv.


Africa; Australia; Europe & Northern Asia (excluding China); North America; Oceania; South America; Southern Asia;



Attributes / relations provided by
1de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
2Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
3Equus asinus, Martha I. Grinder, Paul R. Krausman, and Robert S. Hoffmann, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 794, pp. 1-9 (2006)
4Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
5Species Interactions of Australia Database, Atlas of Living Australia, Version ala-csv-2012-11-19
6Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
7International Flea Database
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Le Saout, S., Hoffmann, M., Shi, Y., Hughes, A., Bernard, C., Brooks, T.M., Bertzky, B., Butchart, S.H.M., Stuart, S.N., Badman, T. & Rodrigues, A.S.L. (2013) Protected areas and effective biodiversity conservation. Science, 342, 803–805
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Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
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