Neurotrichus gibbsii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Neurotrichus gibbsii
Species Authority: (Baird, 1858)
Common Name(s):
English Shrew-mole, American Shrew Mole, American Shrew-mole

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 widespread, there are no major threats, and its population is not believed to be in decline.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in northwestern North America, from southwestern British Columbia (Fraser River region), Canada, south through western Washington (including Destruction Island), western Oregon, and western California to Fremont Peak, Monterey County in the United States. It ranges up to 2,440 m asl in Washington.
Canada (British Columbia); United States (California, Oregon, Washington)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population density in favourable habitat has been estimated at 12-15/ha (but up to 247/ha after removal of all other small mammals) (Dalquest and Orcutt 1942).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In Washington it is found in moist habitats with soft earth free of sod; lower elevation ravines with deep soils, much vegetative surface litter (logs, leaves), and big-leaf maple and other plants; less commonly in lakeshore willow thickets; rarely in drier habitats (Dalquest 1948). In Oregon it is most common in riparian alder and alder-salmonberry thickets; less commonly occurs in mature and immature conifer, riparian hardwood, sitka spruce-salal, skunkcabbage marsh, wet pasture, headland prairie, and headland scrub habitats (Maser et al. 1981); also montane areas with low cover of lichen and few snags, and Douglas-fir forest (see Carraway and Verts 1991). In California it occurs in redwood, Douglas-fir, and yellow pine forests and forest edges, usually near streams (Ingles 1965). It constructs runways near the surface of duff layer and deeper but shallow burrows, usually near streams. This species is less fossorial than other moles.

It seems to be more social than other insectivores; and may travel in loose bands (Dalquest and Orcutt 1942, Maser et al. 1981). Most breeding occurs from early March to mid-May, but even then only a few percent of specimens are in breeding condition. The length of gestation not known. Litter size varies from one to four young, newborns altricial. It is reported to have an XO system of sex determination. The shrew-mole may consume more than its own body weight in food in one day. It feeds primarily on earthworms, gastropods, centipedes, sowbugs, insects, and other invertebrates. It also eats some plant seeds, fungi, and lichens. It is sightless and detects prey with its snout. It is active throughout the year.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

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

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in protected areas throughout its range.

Citation: NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Neurotrichus gibbsii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 01 April 2015.
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