28 July 2023

Libyan Jirds – Khafra Marsh

I left home at 04:00 to go to Khafra Marsh to a site I have seen Libyan Jird at previously. As soon as I reached the location, I noticed the first Jirds on the compact sand near the side of the road where I had seen them before. I stayed looking at the Jirds for an hour or so and during this time the light became better for photographs. Once the temperature started to get too hot, around 07:00 the Jirds started to disappear down their burrows. The underground burrow system of these animals is extensive and often they would go down one hole and reappear shortly after some distance away out of another burrow. The Libyan Jird is one of the most widely distributed species among rodents, ranging across nearly the entire Palearctic Desert Belt from Morocco in Northwest Africa to China. It occupies desert and semidesert habitats, generally in areas with stabilized dunes. The subspecies in Saudi Arabia is the Central lineage that also occurs in Jordan and Syria Meriones libycus syrius.