2020 update of the global donkey and mule population


Donkeys and mules support some of the worlds poorest communities. This paper is an update to a previously published study. This investigation focuses on global, regional and country level trends in donkey a mule populations to understand how this has developed between 1997 and 2018. Results show that the general trend identified in a previous paper analysing data between 1961 and 1997 is continuing with the number of donkeys globally increasing at a rate of ~1% per annum, whilst mule population are in decline at a rate of ~2% per annum. Results also suggest that the trend identified in the original paper are still evident today with the largest increases in donkey population seen in the sub-Saharan African region and greatest reduction noted in Eastern Europe with these two regions having different socio-economic drivers. This study highlights that multifaceted socio-economic drivers influence changes in donkey and mule populations demonstrating the complexity of designing targeted one-welfare approaches.


The FAO live donkey and mule population information will be compared across regions over time to understand where there have been significant increase or decrease in population size and distribution.


The aim of this project is to quantify changes in global donkey and mule population between 1997 and 2018 using FAO data.


The objective of this project is to better understand changes in donkey and mule population distributions based on open source data.

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