African wild ass

This is thought to be the ancestor of the domestic donkey, They live in the deserts and other arid areas of the Horn of Africa, in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. It formerly had a wider range north and west into Sudan, Egypt, and Libya. It is Critically Endangered, with only about 570 wild asses existing in the wild, spread across its three country range.

It should be noted, that most listings of animals with their conservation status, do not differentiate between the wild and domesticated members of the species. While this is easily explained by an animal like this – which looks extremely similar, others such as domestic dogs have a variety of breeds, some of which it would be hard pressed to suggest it is still the same species as the wild wolf.

There are several recognized subspecies:

Nubian wild ass: found in Nubian Desert of northeastern Sudan, from east of the Nile River to the Red Sea and south to the Atbarah River and northern Eritrea. There are fewer than 200 of this subspecies remaining

Somali wild ass: found in Somalia, Somaliland, Eritrea and Ethiopia. The rest live in this area, but while some estimate 700, most up to date sources suggest a few hundred remain at most.

Atlas wild ass: before extinction found in the region around the Atlas Mountains, across modern day Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco


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