Jirds are extremely social animals and often live in colonies, in deep and complex burrows which are clustered together (3). Mainly active at night (8), Shaw’s jird forages mainly for fruits, seeds and green parts of plants, such as Salsola vermiculata and Euphorbia calyptrata, a large amount of which is then hoarded underground in the burrow (8).
Shaw’s jird is able to breed at all times of year, but favours times when the temperature is moderate and supplies of food and moisture are sufficient. In northern Tunisia, most reproductive activity takes place in summer, while in Morocco, winter appears to be favoured (5). Remarkably, Shaw’s jird is able to mate a staggering 224 times in only two hours (9). With a gestation period of 20 to 30 days, Shaw’s jird gives to birth to litters of around five or six young, with a female producing three or four litters each year (3). The young are weaned at about 21 days of age and may live for up to five or six years (3).