Indian Desert Jird

Indian Desert Jird

Indian desert gerbil , Indian desert jird, Indian desert gerbil

Meriones hurrianae
Population size
Life Span
1-2 yrs
12-14 cm

The Indian desert jird or Indian desert gerbil (Meriones hurrianae ) is a species of jird found mainly in the Thar Desert in India. Jirds are closely related to gerbils.


Indian desert jirds have grey-brown coats with yellowish-grey bellies. The distinguishing characteristics of these small rodents are short ears, long black claws and orange incisors. Jirds are closely related to gerbils but are differentiated by the absence of long hind feet and the characteristic erect posture of a gerbil.




Biogeographical realms

Indian desert jirds are found in southeastern Iran and Pakistan to northwestern India. In India they can be found in Rajasthan and Gujarat. These animals inhabit desert and barren areas preferring firm soil. They are not to be found in pure sand dunes or rocky outcrops.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Indian desert jirds are gregarious animals and their burrows are seen close by. Each jird will have at least two or more entrances to his burrow complex. Often the entrance is in the shade of a tree or near the trunk of bushes. These desert jirds are diurnal, which means that they are active during the day and sleep at night.

Group name
Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

These omnivorous animals feed on seeds, roots, nuts, grasses and insects.

Mating Habits

Nothing is known about the reproductive behavior of Indian desert jirds, as they are difficult to observe in the wild.


Population threats

Indian desert jirds are threatened by habitat loss and degradation due to the expansion of agriculture, logging operations and collection of fuel wood. They also suffer from pest control programmes and climate changes such as drought and floods. Indian desert jirds are also harvested for local consumption.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Indian desert jird is locally common but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.


1. Indian Desert Jird on Wikipedia -
2. Indian Desert Jird on The IUCN Red List site -

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