The family Equidae embodies all the animals which are associated with horses. Equus kiang, popularly known as Tibetan wild ass, Gorkhar and Khyang, are presumed to be prodigious of the subgenus Asinus of family Equidae. The Equus kiang (Tibetan wild ass) is classified into three subspecies based on its size and environment. This species is found in the open terrain of Tibet, on the Indian border, and in Nepal and China. Kiangs play a crucial role in various accounts of travelers including Chris Lavers, Thubten Jigme Norbu, and Ekai Kawaguchi. Kiang equus is so closely related to Asiatic wild asses (Equus hemionus) that in some taxonomic divisions the kiang is treated as a subspecies of Asiatic wild asses (Equus hemionus).
To learn more fun facts about the kiang, keep reading this article. Please check out out other interesting articles about the zonkey and horse for more animal facts.
What do they prey on?
Grass and sedges
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
Male: 770-880 lb (350-400 kg) Female: 550-660 lb (250-300 kg)
The Equus kiang, also called Khyang, is a species of ass that is further categorized into three subspecies which are the Equus kiang kiang or the western kiang, Equus kiang holdereri or the eastern Kiang, and Equus kiang polyodon or the southern kiang.
What class of animal does a kiang belong to?
Kiangs belong to the class Mammalia of order Perissodactyla and family Equidae.
How many kiang are there in the world?
Kiangs are distributed substantially on the Tibetan plateau. The total number of kiang present globally as estimated in 2008 is approximately 60,000 to 7,000, with their maximum population in the region of Tibet itself while a small proportion of almost 3000 kiangs resides in the bordering areas of Nepal and India, including the regions of Ladakh and Sikkim.
Where does a kiang live?
Kiangs are believed to be native to the Tibetan plateau as this species of wild ass is found in a large number in the Tibetan territory, particularly in the region between the Kunlun Mountains and the Himalayas. The western kiang is largely discovered in parts of Tibet and the southwestern region of Xinjiang and Ladakh. Eastern kiangs are found in the territories of Xinjiang as well as Qinghai, and the southern kiang is observed near the Nepalese border and in parts of south Tibet.
What is a kiang's habitat?
The Tibetan Plateau is an open terrain of alpine grassland at an elevation of 8,900-17,400 ft (2,700-5,300 m). The favorable habitat of this species includes valleys with dominant grass, sedges, and other vegetation with a cold climate.
Who do kiangs live with?
Wild asses create a community of a minimum of five to a maximum of 400 asses which is generally led by an aged female ass, but these assemblages are not permanent herds. Kiangs are preyed on by wolves which is why asses form groups as a defense mechanism. Kiangs are vulnerable when alone and if they are separated or drift away from their group, predators can attack a kiang very easily.
How long does a kiang live?
The average life span of a kiang is 20 years.
How do they reproduce?
A kiang is polygynous, and their breeding season starts in August and culminates in September. Once the species achieve their sexual maturity, a male surrounds a female and safeguards it from other males. During this time, a male exhibits aggressive behavior towards another male and they are frequently seen chasing females for mating. The process of reproduction is through copulation and the duration of gestation is approximately 300 days. The young ones are born between July and August and a female can deliver only one offspring at a time. The period of weaning may continue for a year but the baby can roam after one hour post delivery.
What is their conservation status?
The kiang is not under any threat and they are found in an ample amount. However, this species were hunted for their meat and coat which was processed to make leather. Also, their northern territory and habitat have been affected due to human activities but their conservation status is of the Least Concern as stated by IUCN in 2000.
Kiang Fun Facts
What do kiangs look like?
The Equus kiang is the biggest wild ass in the world and is found in Asia. The mass of a male can be slightly more than that of a female. The average weight of a male liang is approximately 770-880 lb (350-400 kg) while a female kiang is 550-660 lb (250-300 kg). The height of a kiang may range between 52-56 in (132-142 cm) and it has a body length of 72-84 in (182-214 cm). The height of their shoulder is 55.1 in (140 cm), and the length of the tail is about 12.5-17.7 in (32-45 cm). The kiang has three more subspecies and the biggest of this is the eastern kiang while the smallest is the southern kiang.
The coat of a kiang contradicts the seasons as their coat exhibits reddish-brown color in summer while it alters to dark brown, chestnut color in winter. During summer, their coat is thin and short while their winter coat is dense and long. Their short ears and tufted tail delivers a more horse-like appearance. The head of these animals is large and the muzzle is blunt with an out curved nose. Their legs, interior of ears, edge of the muzzle, and underparts are all white. The kiang has a short mane and a dark brown color dorsal stripe which stretches from its mane to the end of its tail.
How cute are they?
The horse-like appearance of kiangs makes them completely cute, however, this opinion may vary form person to person. They look very similar to horses.
How do they communicate?
Kiangs are frequently observed forming groups to protect themselves against predators, but how they actually communicate with one another is not known.
How big is a kiang?
This species is the largest wild ass in the whole world and it is found in Asia. The height of a kiang is 52-56 in (132-142 cm) and it weighs approximately 880 lb (400 kg). When we compare a Indian wild ass which is nearly 440-574 lb (200-260 kg), we can comprehend how big a kiang is but the only species of ass that kiangs are closely related to is the Equus hemionus.
How fast can a kiang run?
The exact speed of a kiang is not listed but it is not as fast as an Equus hemionus.
How much does an kiang weigh?
A male kiang is slightly heavier than a female kiang. The weight of a male can range between 770-880 lb (350-400 kg) and a female is around 550-660 lb (250-300 kg). Kiangs tend to gain weight from August to September because of the substantial amount vegetation in this season.
What are their male and female names of the species?
A male kiang is known as jack and a female kiang is known as jennet.
What would you call a baby kiang?
Young ones are born almost after a year and a baby kiang is known as a foal. It can roam on its own an hour after its birth.
What do they eat?
The ideal habitat of a kiang provides them with the right of sustenance it requires. Their staple diet consists of grasses, hedges, and sedges. However habitat loss due to human interference is affecting their population, and so the conservation of their habitats is crucial.
Are they dangerous?
Kiangs are not dangerous animals, however, like with all wild animals, they enjoy being on their own in their habitat without any interruption. However, it may kick with its legs to defend itself from predators. Kiangs protect themselves by delivering violent kicks.
Would they make a good pet?
These wild asses not suitable to be kept as a pet.
Did you know...
Kiang can swim very well especially during summer. Herds are frequently seen indulging themselves in bathing near water bodies.
Herds of kiang are quite active in the night as they commonly feed at this hour.
The word 'kiang' refers to these wild asses. The name of this animal means 'Asian wild ass with a thick furry coat'.
What are other names for a kiang?
A kiang is also called a Tibetan wild ass, a Gorkhar, and a Khyang.
Where can you find kiangs in India?
Kiangs inhabit large parts of the Tibetan plateau and only a minor portion of this population can be found in the Indian provinces of Ladakh and Sikkim, which provide these animals with optimum vegetation.
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