CZAAWE Resource Article

Behavioral patterns and communication in feral asses (Equus africanus)
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Applied Animal Behaviour Science
The behavior of feral populations of the African wild ass (Equus africanus) were studied in the Northern Panamint Range of Death Valley National Monument for 20 months from 1970 to 1973 [Moehlman, P.D., 1974. Behavior and ecology of feral asses (Equus asinus). PhD dissertation, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 251 pp.; Moehlman, P.D., 1979. Behavior and ecology of feral asses (Equus asinus). Natl. Geogr. Soc. Res. Reports, 1970: 405–411]. Maintenance behavior is described and behavior sequences that were used in social interactions are quantified by sex and age class. Agonistic, sexual, and greeting behavior patterns are described and analyzed in conjunction with the responses they elicited. Mutual grooming mainly occurred between adult males, and between females and their offspring. Five types of vocalizations were distinguished: brays, grunts, growls, snorts, and whuffles. A second population was studied for 1 month on Ossabaw Island, GA (Moehlman, 1979). This population had more permanent social groups and had a higher rate of mutual grooming and foal social play.