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Neomys fodiens

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA EULIPOTYPHLA SORICIDAE

Scientific Name: Neomys fodiens
Species Authority: (Pennant, 1771)
Common Name/s:
English Eurasian Water Shrew, Water Shrew, Northern Water Shrew
French Crossope Aquatique
Spanish Musgaño Patiblanco

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor/s: Hutterer, R., Meinig, H., Bertolino, S., Kryštufek, B., Amori, A., Sheftel, B., Stubbe, M., Samiya, R., Ariunbold, J., Buuveibaatar, V., Dorjderem, S., Monkhzul, Ts., Otgonbaatar, M. & Tsogbadrakh, M.
Reviewer/s: Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species has a wide range and is generally abundant, although local population declines have been recorded. Loss and degradation of wetland habitat is the main threat, although this is not a serious threat to the global population at present. Assessed globally as Least Concern. The subspecies niethammeri in western Spain has a restricted range and may be threatened. It is morphologically distinct from other populations and may warrant species status. Further taxonomic investigation and population monitoring is recommended for this subspecies.
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The water shrew has a large range extending from the British Islands eastwards to Lake Baikal, Yenisei River (Russia), Tien Shan (China), and northwest Mongolia. In the Mediterranean is ranges from northern Spain eastwards to Bulgaria.In Europe it is generally widespread throughout, with the exception of southern Iberia. It occurs only sporadically on the Balkan peninsula, where it is largely restricted to the mountains. It occurs from sea level to over 2,500 m (Stone 1995). The distribution of the species recently expanded southwards in Italy owing to a new record in the Sila massif (Aloise et al. 2005).
Countries:
Native:
Albania; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Italy; Kazakhstan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is a widespread species, although local population declines may be caused by wetland drainage, pollution, and destruction of riverbanks. Population densities fluctuate from year to year (Spitzenberger 1999). In the northern part of its range and in the steppe zone, the species has a patchy distribution.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is semi-aquatic with water repelling fur. It occurs in a wide variety of wetland habitats, both freshwater and coastal, including lakes, rivers, streams, marshes, bogs, damp grasslands, humid woodlands, sea shores and intertidal wetlands. It is the most aquatic of all European shrews. It hunts on land and in water for invertebrates, including crustaceans, and occasionally takes small fish and amphibia (Sokolov and Orlov 1980, Spitzenberger 1999, Smith and Xie in press). It paralyses large prey with its venomous saliva (Stone 1995, Smith and Xie in press). It is highly territorial, with males only moving out of territory during the breeding season.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Loss of wetland habitats through drainage, development, conversion to agricultural land, and destruction of natural vegetation at the water's edge may have a negative impact on this species. It may suffer from a shortage of food when prey species decline owing to acidification and pollution of water with pesticides, fertilisers, and sewage (Spitzenberger 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention, and occurs in numerous protected areas within its range. The western Spanish population is a separate subspecies (niethammeri), which has a very restricted range and may be threatened. It is morphologically distinct from other populations, and may represent a valid species (López-Fuster et al. 1990, Bühler 1996). There is a need for taxonomic research on this population, as well as surveys and monitoring to determine if it is undergoing population decline or range contractions.
Citation: Hutterer, R., Meinig, H., Bertolino, S., Kryštufek, B., Amori, A., Sheftel, B., Stubbe, M., Samiya, R., Ariunbold, J., Buuveibaatar, V., Dorjderem, S., Monkhzul, Ts., Otgonbaatar, M. & Tsogbadrakh, M. 2008. Neomys fodiens. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 April 2014.
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