Spatial and temporal distribution of donkey and mule population in India


  • Asmita -
  • RA Legha Principal Scientist
  • TA Talluri -
  • A Bhardwaj -
  • Yash Pal -



Donkeys, Mules, Equines, Population, India, Census


The donkeys and mules are members of the Equidae family. Spiti, Halari and Kachchhi are registered breeds of donkeys in India. They are well acclimatized to the different agro-climatic conditions to which they belong. Donkeys and mules constitute about 37% of the total Indian equine population and play multifarious roles in human life, especially for the poorest of the poor section of society. They are mainly reared by underprivileged and weaker communities of the society and used for various purposes like transportation of goods, farm produces, pack animals at brick kilns, transportation of garbage, building materials and by nomadic pastoralists etc. The severe decreasing trend observed in Livestock Census elicited us to understand the present status of donkeys and mules. The total donkey and mule populations decreased by 61.23% and 57.10%, respectively in 2019 over the last census. This can be due to their decreased working utility, as alternate economic sources of mechanization are available. Further, motorized vehicles are replacing donkeys and mules in plains and hilly regions where there is a road network. Presently, donkeys and mules are more in rural area than urban area of the country, indicating their utility still exists among rural masses and rural transport depends on these equids. The density of mules is high in the hilly states of India, indicating their utility in difficult hilly terrains.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Asmita, -

Central University of Haryana, Mahendragarh (Haryana)

RA Legha, Principal Scientist

ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines, Sirsa Road, Hisar 125001 (Haryana)

TA Talluri, -

ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines, Sirsa Road, Hisar 125001 (Haryana)

A Bhardwaj, -

ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines, Sirsa Road, Hisar 125001 (Haryana)

Yash Pal, -

ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines, Sirsa Road, Hisar 125001 (Haryana)


th Livestock Census. All India report: ministry of agriculture, department of animal husbandry, dairying & fisheries, Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi, India. 2019. Available from:

Birthal PS, Arya SN, Pal Y & Yadav MP. 1999. Socio-economic Issues in Equine Husbandry: A Study in Haryana and Delhi. Published by NRCE, Hisar pp 1-44.

Gupta AK, Pal Y, Mamta & Yadav MP. 1999. Effect of feed deprivation on biochemical indices in equids. Journal of Equine Science, 10 (2):33–38.

Khadda BS, Lata K, Kumar R, Jadav JK & Khajuria S. 2016. Effect of supplementary feeding on productive and reproductive performance of milch buffalo and feed economics under field conditions in Panchmahal district of Central Gujarat. Journal of Agriculture and Ecology, 2: 51–56.

Pal Y & Gupta AK. 2004. Effect of transient feed withdrawal stress on physiological indices and acid base balance in equid. Annals of Arid Zone, 43: 1–6.

Pal Y & Gupta AK. 2004a. Comparative physiological and biochemical studies in equids under short-term feed deprivation stress. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences, 74 (6): 662–666.

Pal Y & Legha RA. 2008. A study on socio-economic status of mule producers and management practices of mule production in rural areas. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences, 78(11): 1281-1284.

Pal Y, Ghei JC, Gupta AK & Yadav MP. 1997. Comparative studies on heat tolerance in ponies and donkeys. Indian Veterinary Journal, 75: 78–79.

Pal Y, Gupta AK & Yadav MP. 2000. Heat tolerance in donkeys and mules. Annals of Arid Zone, 39(4): 461–464.

Pal Y, Legha RA, Lal N, Bhardwaj A, Chauhan M, Kumar S, Sharma RC & Gupta AK. 2013. Management and phenotypic characterization of donkeys of Rajasthan. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences, 83(8): 793–797.

Rossel S, Marshall F, Peters J, Pilgram T, Adams MD & Connor DO. 2008. Domestication of the donkey: timing, processes, and indicators. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(10): 3715–3720.

Singh B, Mahajani K & Meena KC. 2020. Knowledge of improved dairy husbandry practices of farmers of Kauroli, district of eastern Rajasthan. Journal of Agriculture and Ecology, 9: 48–54.

Singh, A, Pal Y, Kumar R, Kumar S, Rani K, Prasad J. 2021. Working equids: Their conditions, invisible earning and challenges- A Review. Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, 39 (11): 357-364.




How to Cite

Asmita, RA Legha, TA Talluri, A Bhardwaj, & Yash Pal. (2023). Spatial and temporal distribution of donkey and mule population in India. Journal of Agriculture and Ecology, 15(15), 45–48.