The kiang is a large graceful wild ass native to the Tibetan Plateau. Its coat is a rich chestnut color, darker brown in winter and a sleek reddish-brown in late summer when the animal molts its woolly fur. The legs, underparts, end of the muzzle, and the inside of the ears are all white. There is a broad, dark chocolate-colored dorsal stripe that extends from the mane to the end of the tail, and ends in a tuft of blackish-brown hairs.
Kiangs are found on the Tibetan Plateau, between the Himalayas in the south and the Kunlun Mountains in the north. This restricts them almost entirely to China, but they also occur across the borders in the Ladakh and Sikkim regions of India, and along the northern frontier of Nepal. Kiangs inhabit alpine meadows and steppes. They prefer relatively flat plateaus, wide valleys, and low hills, dominated by grasses, sedges, and smaller amounts of other low-lying vegetation.
Kiangs are generally social animals and live in family groups. They sometimes gather together in large herds, which may number several hundred individuals. However, these herds are not permanent groupings, but temporary aggregations, consisting either of young males only, or of mothers and their foals. Older males are typically solitary and defend their territory from rivals, and dominate any local groups of females. Territorial males sometimes become aggressive towards intruders, kicking and biting at them, but more commonly chase them away after a threat display that involves flattening the ears and braying. Kiangs are diurnal and spend most of the day grazing; during the periods of dry seasons, they may gather in herds and travel great distances in search of food. Other than humans kiangs have only one real predator - the Himalayan wolf. They defend themselves by forming a circle, and with their heads down, kick out violently. As a result, wolves usually attack single animals that have strayed from the group. Kiangs are generally quiet but when they feeling threatened they will make loud snort.
Kiangs breed between late July and late August; during this time older males court reproductive females by trotting around them, and then chasing them prior to mating. After the gestation period of 7 to 12 months, females give birth to a single foal. Females are able to breed again almost immediately after birth, although births every other year are more common. Foals weigh up to 35 kg (77 lb) at birth and are able to walk within a few hours. They grow quickly and are weaned at one year of age.
The main threats to kiangs include competition with domestic livestock for grazing pastures, habitat loss due to fencing, mining, and hunting.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the kiang is 60,000-70,000 individuals most of which occur in China and include 56,500-68,500 individuals. Outside China, the population is estimated at 1,600-2,200 individuals most of which are located in India, less than 25 individuals in Pakistan, and less than 100 individuals in Nepal. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.