The Asiatic wild ass eats grasses when available, but will browse on shrubs and trees at other times or in drier habitats (7). It has also been seen feeding on seed pods and breaking up woody vegetation with its hooves to get at more succulent herbs growing at the base of woody plants (6). During spring and summer in Mongolia, the succulent plants of the Zygophyllaceae family form an important component of the diet of the Mongolian wild ass (5). This subspecies is also known to eat snow in winter as a substitute for water (6). At other times when natural water points are unavailable, the Mongolian wild ass will dig holes in dry riverbeds to access sub-surface water. The water holes dug by the wild asses are often subsequently visited by domestic livestock, as well as other wild animals (5) (6). Breeding is seasonal, the gestation period in this species is 11 months, and most births occur from April to September. Females with young tend to form groups of up to five females. Males have been observed holding harems of females, but in other studies they defend territories that attract females. It is likely that differences in behaviour and social structure are the result of changes in climate, vegetation cover, predation and hunting (6). In Mongolia alone, the wild ass seems to adopt harem type social groups in the southwest and territorial based social groups in the south and southeast (5). However, further research is needed to properly understand the dynamics underlying the social behaviour of this species (1) (5).
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