Institut für Biologie der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


Date of this Version


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Erforschung biologischer Ressourcen der Mongolei (2005) 9: 107-120.

Proceedings of the symposium ”Ecosystem Research in the Arid Environments of Central Asia: Results, Challenges, and Perspectives,” Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, June 23-24, 2004.


Copyright 2005, Martin-Luther-Universität. Used by permission.


The population of the Mongolian wild ass belongs to the nominate form Equus hemionus hemionus described by Pallas in 1775. This species is adapted to semidesert habitats in the Gobi region and is listed in the Red Book of Mongolia as well as on appendix I of the Washington Convention (CITES). Mapping of the northern border of the distributional range showed a remarkable decrease in size in comparison to the maps of Murzaev (1954) or Bannikov (1954). The pressure of civilization, settlements, motorization, and increasing numbers of domestic livestock in connection with the occupation of water resources and illegal hunting are the main reasons for the decrease of population density of Dschiggetajs in the neighborhood of herdsmen.

Nearly 100% of the studied dead animals were poached. It can be assumed that thousands of killed wild asses can be found in the Gobi zone. Analysis of the population structure of 1830 alive wild asses resulted in a reproduction rate of 23% in September/October 2003. In July 2004 out of at total of 3,387 observed Dschiggetajs 611 were foals, therefore reproduction rate was 21.2%. First coprological investigations showed a high level of endoparasites.

The collected material is a valuable basis for morphometric and genetic analysis in the near future. We will study the age structure of the found skeletons and the genetic diversity of Equus hemionus.

At the other hand possibilities for a better protection and management have to be discussed with all experts, local authorities of nature conservation services, organizations of Somons and Aymags, as well as in the international context. This includes management of water resources, new wildlife reserves, control of hunting weapons and a higher protection by national law.