The Great gebril is the largest species of gebril. These animals have a yellowish-orange, or dark grayish-yellow coat which matches the sandy deserts they inhabit. Great gerbils spend winters under snowpack and have thick, soft fur and a long-haired tails. They have large front claws used for burrowing.
Great gerbils are found in Central Asia, western South Asia, China and Mongolia. They occur in Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and have a smaller distribution in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In South Asia, they are found in northern Afghanistan and western Pakistan. Great gerbils inhabit arid habitats, predominantly sandy or clay deserts.
Great gerbils are often colonial and live in family groups. They occupy one burrow per family. Their burrows can be fairly extensive with separate chambers for nests and food storage. During the winter Great gerbils spend most of the time in their burrows keeping each other warm but do not hibernate. They are predominantly diurnal creatures which means that they are active during the day and sleep at night.
Little is known about the mating system and reproductive behavior of Great gerbils. Breeding takes place after the rainy season and lasts from April to September. Females usually produce two or three litters. The gestation period lasts 23-32 days and the average litter size in the wild is 4-7 young. Females are known to reach reproductive maturity at 3-4 months of age.
There are no major threats to Great gerbils. However, they can locally suffer from habitat degradation through overgrazing of vegetation by livestock.
The IUCN Red List and other sources do not provide the Great gerbil total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today remain stable.