Asses live in desert or semi-desert areas, steppeland (grassy plains) and mountainous regions. They prefer hilly areas but will come down into the valleys to avoid dust and snow storms.

The Mongolian Wild Ass

All of the overview details relate to the 'typical' race of Asiatic wild ass which lives in Mongolia. The Mongolian wild ass (or kulan) is also known as the dziggetai. It inhabits the steppelands of southern and south-western Mongolia, although it may also exist across the frontier in the Chinese province of Sinkiang.

The Mongolian ass is one of four very similar races of the Asiatic wild ass still surviving in the remoter regions of the vast continent of Asia. A fifth race, the Syrian wild ass, is now believed to be extinct, as it has not been reliably reported since 1927.

The three other races include the following:

  • The Tibetan wild ass: (or kiang) is scattered through the high mountainous plateau of Tibet.
  • The Persian wild ass: (or onager) may be found in very small numbers Iran.
  • The Indian wild ass: (also known as the chor-khar or khur) is now seriously endangered, and the last survivors of this race are now restricted to a small area in Gujarat, India.
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