Sorex araneus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Eulipotyphla Soricidae

Scientific Name: Sorex araneus Linnaeus, 1758
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Common Shrew, Eurasian Shrew
French Musaraigne Carrelet, MUSARAIGNE CARRELET
Spanish Musaraña Colicuadrada, MUSARAÑA COLICUADRADA
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: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-09-08
Assessor(s): Hutterer, R. & Kryštufek, B.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

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 occurrence:
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; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is one of the most abundant shrew species.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

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).
Generation Length (years):1

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.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.1. Forest - Boreal
1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
13. Marine Coastal/Supratidal -> 13.3. Marine Coastal/Supratidal - Coastal Sand Dunes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

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

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-1. Available at: (Accessed: 27 April 2017).

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

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. & Kryštufek, B. 2016. Sorex araneus (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T29661A115170489. . Downloaded on 18 July 2018.
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