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Asian Wild Ass in Endangered List
Aug 28, 2015

The wild ass, locally known as Ghudkhar and found only in the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat in India, has been classified as an endangered animal.

  • The Red List of International Union For Conservation of Nature (IUCN) released recently moved the wild ass from the 'vulnerable' to 'endangered' category, indicating the need for heightened protection measures.

  • The IUCN added that the population of the Asiatic Wild Ass has declined by an alarming 52% in the past 16 years.

  • In Gujarat, there are 4,451 wild asses as per the 2014 census. In 2004, their number was 3,863.

  • Gujarat has recorded a 10% rise in numbers especially in the past five years.

  • The Asian Wild Ass was once considered to be among the largest population of ungulates (hoofed animals), along with horses, cows, camels, and deer. Herds of 1,000 or more Asian Wild Asses have often been observed in Central and West Asia. And, they are the fastest among wild horses.

Today, the Asian Wild Ass is on the brink of extinction. This is partially due to the expansion of grazing land. Livestock animals have taken over their grassland and watering areas. But it is also because of an expansion of farmlands which has shrunk their habitat and forced them to separate. No longer is it possible to see herds of 1,000 asses. Conservation efforts have helped them recover their population in some areas, but as a whole, the Asian Wild Ass is still an endangered species.

India has 988 Species in IUCN Endangered List

  • India has added 15 more species to the Red List of threatened species published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2014, but the country has climbed down a spot to the seventh position.

  • By the year-end, India had 988 threatened species on the list, which lists critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable species.

  • In 2013, the number was 973.

  • With 659 species in 2008, the increase over seven years is 50 per cent, in part due to better research identifying more threatened species and deforestation.

  • A recent World Bank mapping of endangered mammals shows India as having the fourth largest number of threatened species in the world, 31 of them endemic to the region.


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