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Sorex araneus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA EULIPOTYPHLA SORICIDAE

Scientific Name: Sorex araneus
Species Authority: Linnaeus, 1758
Common Name(s):
English Common Shrew, Eurasian Shrew
French Musaraigne Carrelet, MUSARAIGNE CARRELET
Spanish Musaraña Colicuadrada, MUSARAÑA COLICUADRADA
Synonym(s):
Sorex averini Zubko, 1937
Taxonomic Notes: This species has huge chromosomal variation and includes many chromosomal races. Recently one of these races has been described as a separate species (S. antinorii)(Hutterer in Wilson and Reeder 2005).

Sorex averini is treated here as part of S. araneus. This taxon is regarded by some as an allospecies of S. araneus (Zagorodnyuk 1996).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Hutterer, R., Amori, G. & Kryštufek, B.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
S. araneus has a very wide range and is one of the commonest shrew species throughout its range. Although general habitat degradation may affect localised populations, this is not considered a serious threat to the global population. Least Concern.
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The common shrew has a wide distribution in the Palaearctic, occurring from Britain through central, northern and eastern Europe and Asia as far east as Lake Baikal and as far north as the Arctic coast. It is widespread throughout, with the exception of arid steppe and desert areas. In the Mediterranean, it occurs in most European continental areas, with the exception of large parts of Iberia, France, and Italy and the Balkans. There are isolated populations in the Pyrenees and the Massif Central (France). It is recorded from sea level to 2,500 m (Andĕra 1999).
Countries:
Native:
Albania; Andorra; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Kazakhstan; 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 one of the most abundant shrew species.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It prefers cool, damp and shady habitats with dense vegetation, such as riparian forests and reed beds (Hausser et al. 1990). However, it tolerates a broad range of habitats, and it is present (albeit at lower densities) in drier areas such as woodland, scrub, road verges, hedges in farmland, and even sand dunes (Andĕra 1999). It is absent from very arid habitats. It feeds largely on invertebrates, especially arthropods, earthworms, and snails, but it also feeds on vegetative matter (Hausser et al. 1990).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats include general habitat degradation and an indirect threat from pesticides and pollutants (accumulation of toxins through their diet). In some countries (but not in the Mediterranean), this is an indicator species for monitoring terrestrial pollution. However, the species is not considered seriously affected by these threats at a regional or global level.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention, and it occurs in many protected areas. No specific conservation actions are recommended at present.

Bibliography [top]

Andĕra, M. 1999. The Atlas of European Mammals. Academic Press, London, UK.

Von Hausser, J., Hutterer, R. and Vogel, P. 1990. Sorex araneus Linnaeus, 1758 - Waldspitzmaus. In: J. Niethammer and F. Krapp (eds), Handbuch der Säugetiere Europas. Band 3/I, Insectivora, Primates, pp. 237-278. Aula-Verlag, Wiesbaden, Germany.

Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, D.M. 2005. Mammal Species of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Zagorodniuk, I. V. 1996. Rare shrew species in Ukraine: legends, facts, diagnostics. Vestnik Zoologii 30(6): 53–69.


Citation: Hutterer, R., Amori, G. & Kryštufek, B. 2008. Sorex araneus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 November 2014.
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