Hairy Footed Gerbil
wildlife of Namibia
Introduction: The hairy-footed gerbil (Gerbillurus paeba) is named after the French name for a small mouse, gerbille. The specific name, paeba, is the Tswana name for a mouse. All members of this genus have hair on the soles of their feet, hence the name. They prefer sandy soil or sandy alluvium with grass, scrub or light woodland cover.
This particular species of gerbil are nocturnal and terrestrial and live in burrows with several entrances, usually located at the base of clumps of grass or small bushes. Scratching, face washing, licking and tail cleaning are regular habits of the hairy-footed gerbil, who indulge in social grooming, with one lying down as the other stands over it and grooms.
Distribution: The hairy-footed gerbil is found in all parts of Namibia except in the extreme north eastern parts of the country.
Diet: Seeds from grass and bushes such as the raisin bush are eaten, and they are known to gnaw on the dry fallen pods and seeds of thorn trees.
Colouring: Colouration varies with locality and populations but the upper parts of the body are reddish-orange to a greyish-red. The underparts are always white and the tail is the same colour as the upper body parts.
Breeding: Young are born at any time of year and litters are between 2 to 5. Gestation periods are around 26 days.
Size: Both males and females have a mean head and body length of about 9cm, with tails of 11cm and a mass of around 27g.
A partially community owned camp - allows guest to gain an insight into the lives of the local Bushman community
In the town of Tsumkwe this lodge offers an opportunity to visit the local San communities