Day 78 of #the100dayproject and my #realandendangered project. Today, we look at a unique donkey, the African wild ass, which is found in small scattered populations in northeast Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. Why did this particular species make the list? 1. They have a dark stripe across their back and the Somali wild ass has notably horizontally striped legs like those of a zebra. 2. They can survive water loss of up to 30% of its body weight and drink enough water to replace it in under 5 minutes. 3. They are the ancestor of the domestic donkey. 4. They have long and narrow hooves designed for stability rather than speed. 5. They inhabit dry areas of hilly and stony deserts, arid and semi-arid bushlands and grasslands.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature currently lists them as "critically endangered." There are only a few hundred remaining in the wild. Threats include hunting (both for meat and traditional medicine), competition with livestock for resources, and hybridization with the domestic donkey. The species is legally protected in the countries within which it is currently found, but the enforcement of those laws needs strengthening. They are listed on CITES Appendix I in Ethiopia and Eritrea and a small population of Somali Wild Ass are currently protected in captivity. Conservation actions recommended by the IUCN include, but not limited to: awareness campaigns, surveys, research, continued employment and training of local scouts and post-graduates, and workshops in regards to management plans. #enmlillustration #thesadhappy #digitalart