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Sorex lyelli

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA EULIPOTYPHLA SORICIDAE

Scientific Name: Sorex lyelli
Species Authority: Merriam, 1902
Common Name(s):
English Mount Lyell Shrew

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. & Williams, D.F.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern, even though its range is much smaller than 20,000 km², its habitat is not threatened and much of it is within well managed protected area, and its population is stable and it may occur a little more widely than is currently known.
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The known range of this species spans a small area of the east-central Sierra Nevada, California, including areas in and around Yosemite National Park, in Tuolumne, Mariposa, and Mono counties, at elevations of 6,900-10,350 feet (2,100-3,155 m asl) (Grinnell 1933; Williams 1984). This shrew may possibly occur in similar habitat from Mono County to Modoc County, but the area outside the known range has not been adequately surveyed.
Countries:
Native:
United States (California)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total adult population size of the Mount Lyell shrew is unknown but presumably is at least several thousand. As of 2005, this species was represented by fewer than 10 known distinct occurrences (counting closely adjacent locations as one occurrence). However, the habitat is remote, collecting methods are specialized, and relatively little collecting effort has been made, so it is likely that there are additional undocumented occurrences. Surveys in and near Yosemite National Park in 2003-2005 yielded specimens from several locations (University of California, Berkeley, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology data).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Specimens have been found primarily in wetland communities, near streams, in grassy areas, under willows, and in sagebrush steppe community (Grinnell 1933, Williams 1984, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology data). These shrews are active voracious hunters that feed primarily on insects and other small invertebrates (worms, molluscs, centipedes). They are active throughout the year. Though active at any time throughout the day or night, they are most active during the early morning and evening hours.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species, largely due to the remoteness of its habitat and the lack of commercial value.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species' habitat is protected in Yosemite National Park. No special protection efforts are needed at this time. Basic habitat protection needs include the adoption of good watershed management practices, the protection of wetlands, the prevention of flooding of canyons such as that which results from the construction of dams, and the protection of meadows and other vulnerable communities from excessive grazing or other degrading activities.

Surveys along the crest and east slope of the Sierra Nevada from Mono County north to the Warner Mountains, Modoc County, might yield previously undetected populations. All aspects of life history and population biology are in need of further study.

Citation: NatureServe (Hammerson, G. & Williams, D.F.) 2008. Sorex lyelli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 September 2014.
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