27 December 2023

Libyan Jirds – Khafra Marsh

The whole family left home at 04:30 to go to Khafra Marsh to see Libyan Jird. This site has proved to be very good for getting close views of the animals and we all hoped for some luck. We noticed the first Jirds on the compact sand near the side of the road where a number of burrows were located. The animals stayed close to their burrows and would disappear down them at the first sign of danger. Once the temperature started to get too hot, around 07:00 the Jirds started to disappear down their burrows for good. 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.