Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Perissodactyla > Equidae > Equus > Equus hemionus

Equus hemionus (kulan; Asian wild ass; Onager)

Wikipedia Abstract

The onager, also known as hemione or Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus) is a large Equid of the family Equidae (horse family) native to Asia. Unlike most horses, donkeys and even zebras, the onagers can never be domesticated. The onagers are among the fastest mammals, as they can run as fast as 64 km/h (40 mph) to 70 km/h (43 mph).The onager is closely related to the African wild ass, as they both shared the same ancestor.
View Wikipedia Record: Equus hemionus


Equus hemionus hemionus (Mongolian wild ass)
Equus hemionus kulan (Turkmenistani onager)
Equus hemionus onager (Iranian Onager) (Attributes)

EDGE Analysis

The onager is one of the larger species of Asiatic wild ass. It is the swiftest of all the equids, and has been recorded running at speeds of up to 70 km/h. The species occurs in flat semi-desert regions which are hot during the day and cool at night, with little rainfall. Once common in most of the central and southern plains of Iran, onagers are now found in just two protected areas. The animals are at risk from poachers even within these areas, and constant conservation attention is required to secure the species’ future.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 11.33
EDGE Score: 4.59
View EDGE Record: Equus hemionus


Adult Weight [1]  507.07 lbs (230.00 kg)
Female Maturity [1]  3 years 2 months
Male Maturity [1]  3 years 3 months
Diet [2]  Herbivore
Diet - Plants [2]  100 %
Forages - Ground [2]  100 %
Gestation [1]  11 months 9 days
Litter Size [1]  1
Litters / Year [1]  1
Maximum Longevity [1]  26 years
Speed [3]  45.01 MPH (20.12 m/s)
Weaning [1]  1 year 3 months


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Alashan Plateau semi-desert China, Mongolia Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Altai alpine meadow and tundra China, Kazakstan, Mongolia, Russia Palearctic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Altai montane forest and forest steppe China, Kazakstan, Mongolia, Russia Palearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Altai steppe and semi-desert Kazahkstan Palearctic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Badghyz and Karabil semi-desert Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Tajikistan Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Baluchistan xeric woodlands Pakistan, Afghanistan Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests Iran, Azerbaijan Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests    
Central Asian southern desert Turkmenistan stretching, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Central Persian desert basins Iran, Afghanistan Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Daurian forest steppe China, Mongolia, Russia Palearctic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Elburz Range forest steppe Iran Palearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests    
Emin Valley steppe China, Kazakstan Palearctic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Gobi Lakes Valley desert steppe Mongolia Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Great Lakes Basin desert steppe Mongolia, Russia Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Junggar Basin semi-desert China, Kazakstan, Mongolia Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forests India Indo-Malayan Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests
Kuh Rud and Eastern Iran montane woodlands Iran Palearctic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Mongolian-Manchurian grassland China, Mongolia Palearctic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Northwestern thorn scrub forests India, Pakistan Indo-Malayan Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Paropamisus xeric woodlands Afghanistan Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Rann of Kutch seasonal salt marsh India, Pakistan Indo-Malayan Flooded Grasslands and Savannas
Sayan Alpine meadows and tundra Mongolia, Russia Palearctic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Sulaiman Range alpine meadows Afghanistan, Pakistan Palearctic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Taklimakan desert China Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Thar desert India, Pakistan Indo-Malayan Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Tian Shan foothill arid steppe China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Palearctic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Tian Shan montane steppe and meadows China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Palearctic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Zagros Mountains forest steppe Iran Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Azraq Wetland Reserve IV   Jordan
Badghyz Zapovednik State Nature Reserve Ia 215164 Turkmenistan  
Barsakel'messkiy Reserve State Nature Reserve Ia 51459 Kazakhstan  
Bogdhad Mountain Biosphere Reserve 318000 China  
Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Conservation Park 6658840 Mongolia      
Great Gobi National Park Ia 13211440 Mongolia  
Kaplankyr Zapovednik State Nature Reserve Ia 1293994 Turkmenistan  
Kopetdagh Zapovednik State Nature Reserve Ia 125705 Turkmenistan  
Syunt-Khasardagh Zapovednik State Nature Reserve Ia 105306 Turkmenistan  
Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina (Ubsunur Depression) Zapovednik Ia 798640 Tuva, Russia

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Irano-Anatolian Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Turkmenistan No
Mountains of Central Asia Afghanistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan No

Prey / Diet

Stipa caucasica (needlegrass)[4]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Procapra gutturosa (Mongolian gazelle)1


Canis lupus (Wolf)[5]
Galeocerdo cuvier (Tiger-shark)[6]
Homo sapiens (man)[6]


Parasitized by 
Alfortia edentatus <Unverified Name>[7]
Anoplocephala magna <Unverified Name>[7]
Anoplocephala perfoliata[7]
Coronocyclus coronatus <Unverified Name>[7]
Coronocyclus labiatus <Unverified Name>[7]
Coronocyclus labratus <Unverified Name>[7]
Craterostomum acuticaudatum <Unverified Name>[7]
Cyathostomum catinatum[7]
Cyathostomum pateratum <Unverified Name>[7]
Cyathostomum tetracanthum <Unverified Name>[7]
Cylicocyclus elongatus <Unverified Name>[7]
Cylicocyclus insigne[7]
Cylicocyclus leptostomus <Unverified Name>[7]
Cylicocyclus nassatus[7]
Cylicocyclus radiatus <Unverified Name>[7]
Cylicocyclus triramosus <Unverified Name>[7]
Cylicocyclus ultrajectinus <Unverified Name>[7]
Cylicodontophorus bicoronatus <Unverified Name>[7]
Cylicodontophorus euproctus <Unverified Name>[7]
Cylicodontophorus mettami <Unverified Name>[7]
Cylicostephanus calicatus <Unverified Name>[7]
Cylicostephanus goldi[7]
Cylicostephanus hybridus <Unverified Name>[7]
Cylicostephanus longibursatus[7]
Cylicostephanus minutus[7]
Cylicotetrapedon asymmetricus <Unverified Name>[7]
Cylicotetrapedon bidentatus <Unverified Name>[7]
Delafondia vulgaris <Unverified Name>[7]
Dicrocoelium lanceatum <Unverified Name>[7]
Dictyocaulus arnfieldi[7]
Dictyocaulus pandionis <Unverified Name>[7]
Echinococcus granulosus[7]
Fasciola gigantica[7]
Fasciola hepatica (common liver fluke)[7]
Gongylonema pulchrum[7]
Gyalocephalus capitatus[7]
Habronema microstoma <Unverified Name>[7]
Habronema muscae <Unverified Name>[7]
Oxyuris equi[7]
Paranoplocephala mamillana <Unverified Name>[7]
Parascaris equorum[7]
Petrovinema poculatum <Unverified Name>[7]
Poteriostomum imparidentatum <Unverified Name>[7]
Poteriostomum ratzii <Unverified Name>[7]
Probstmayria vivipara[7]
Setaria equina <Unverified Name>[7]
Strongylus equinus[7]
Trichonema alveatum <Unverified Name>[7]
Trichonema longibursatum <Unverified Name>[7]
Trichostrongylus axei[7]
Triodontophorus brevicauda[7]
Triodontophorus minor <Unverified Name>[7]
Triodontophorus nipponicus <Unverified Name>[7]
Triodontophorus serratus[7]
Triodontophorus tenuicollis[7]
Vermipsylla minuta[8]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Almaty State Zoo of Kazakhstankulan
Arignar Anna Zool. Park, Chennai
Bursa Zoo (Bursa Hayvanat Bahcesi)onager
Cologne Zooonager
Greater Vancouver Zooonager
Helsinki Zookulan
Kaliningrad Zookulan
Kharkiv Zookulan
Kishinev Zooparkkulan
Kolmardens Djurpark ABkulan
Lietuvos Zoologijos Sodas
Lion Country Safari Inc - Florida
Miejski Ogrod Zoologiczny w Lodzkulan
Miejski Ogrod Zoologiczny Wybrzezakulan
Miskolc Zoo/Állatkert és Kultúrparkkulan
Mountain View Conservation & Breeding
Nikolaev Zoo of Nikolaev-City Councilkulan
North of England Zoological Societyonager
Ogrod Zoologiczny w Opolu, Opolekulan
Parc Paradisio S.A.
Parc Safari / F.A.P.S.onager
Park i Ogrod Zoologiczny w Krakowiekulan
Ree Park - Ebeltoft Safarionager
Rome Zoo-Fondazione Bioparco di Romakulan
Rostock Zoologischer Gartenkulan
Rotterdam Zooonager
Safaripark Beekse Bergenonager
San Diego Wild Animal Parkkulan
San Diego Zooonager
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royalonager
Tallinn Zookulan
The Wildsonager
Tiergarten der Stadt Nürnbergkulan
Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde GmbHkulan
Tierpark Hagenbeck GmbHonager
Western Plains Zooonager
Whipsnade Wild Animal Parkonager
Wilhelma Zooonager
Yokohama Zool. Gardenshemionus
Zagreb Zoo / Zooloski vrt Zagrebkulan
Zoo Safari Swierkocinkulan
Zoologicka zahrada Bojnicekulan
Zoologicka Zahrada Bratislavakulan
Zoologicka Zahrada Kosicekulan
Zoologicka Zahrada Mesta Brnakulan
Zoologická a botanická zahrada Plzenkulan
Zoologischer Garten Augsburg GmbHonager
Zoologischer Garten Magdeburgonager

Range Map

Europe & Northern Asia (excluding China); 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
3Wikipedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
4Wenxuan Xuab, Canjun Xiaab, Weikang Yanga, David A. Blanka, Jianfang Qiaoa & Wei Liu, Seasonal diet of Khulan (Equidae) in Northern Xinjiang, China, Italian Journal of Zoology Volume 79, Issue 1, 2012
5Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
6Jorrit 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.
7Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
8International 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
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Images provided by Wikimedia Commons licensed under a Creative Commons License
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access