|Persian onager at Cologne zoo.|
|Subspecies:||E. h. onager|
|Equus hemionus onager
The Persian onager (Equus hemionus onager), also called the gur, Persian wild ass or Persian zebra, is a subspecies of onager (Asiatic wild ass) native to Iran. It is listed as "critically endangered" and "extremely rare", with no more than 600 individuals left in the wild and only 30 individuals living within North American institutions.
Introduced population in Israel
In 1968, eleven Persian and Turkmenian onagers from were flown from Iran to Israel in exchange for Israeli gazelles. These were bred in captivity at the Hai Bar Yotvata wildlife sanctuary. Offsprings were introduced into the wild in the Negev Mountains area, intended to replace the local subspecies gone extinct. The introduced onagers have since established a stable population of around 200 individuals.
The Persian onager are critically endangered and close to extinction. Currently, poaching for meat and hide, competition with livestock, and drought are the greatest threats to this species. Sometimes the term "onager" is reserved specifically for this subspecies. Information on the basic biology of the subspecies and how it differs from others is lacking, which hampers conservation efforts.
On August 30, 2014, Iranian officials reported that three Persian onagers were born in Khar Turan National Park reserve near Shahroud in Semnan province, where it also has the largest populations of the equids.
- Mongolian wild ass (khulan), Equus hemionus hemionus
- Turkmenian kulan, Equus hemionus kulan
- Indian wild ass (khur), Equus hemionus khur
- Syrian wild ass or hemippe, Equus hemionus hemippus (extinct)
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