Sorex arcticus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Eulipotyphla Soricidae

Scientific Name: Sorex arcticus
Species Authority: Kerr, 1792
Common Name(s):
English Arctic Shrew
Taxonomic Notes: S. a. maritimensis Smith 1939 is now considered a distinct species, as suggested by Volobouev and van Zyll de Jong (1988).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern because it is a very widespread and abundant species with no known threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs from Yukon and Northwest Territory to Quebec in Canada; southwards to North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin in the United States (Hutterer, in Wilson and Reeder 1993; Kirkland and Schmidt 1996). The disjunct populations in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have now been elevated to species status (S. maritimensis).
Countries occurrence:
Canada; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is a widespread and abundant species.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is most commonly found in grass-sedge marshes, wet meadows, and other moist openings in and adjacent to boreal forest. It is also present, in fewer numbers, in tamarack-spruce bogs and cedar swamps. Small globular nests are usually made above ground under logs or other material. In the south, breeding occurs in late winter to mid-summer. Gestation lasts three weeks and litter size is five to nine, with an average of three litters per year. Young-of-the-year may breed in the first summer in some areas (Baird et al. 1983).

The species' home range is around 1/4 acre (Buckner 1966). Populations fluctuate annually from less than one to four per acre (Buckner 1966). High population turnover, with approximately 80% of each generation dead prior to sexual maturity (Buckner 1966). The arctic shrew is dependent nearly exclusively on insects. Destructive sawfly larvae seasonally constitute a large part of their diet (Buckner 1964). It is active day and night and like many shrews, major activity peaks at night.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in protected areas throughout its range.

Citation: NatureServe (Hammerson, G.). 2008. Sorex arcticus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41385A10442058. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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