Sorex minutus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Sorex minutus
Species Authority: Linnaeus, 1766
Common Name(s):
English Eurasian Pygmy Shrew, Pygmy Shrew
French Musaraigne Pygmée
Spanish Musaraña Enana

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., Fernandes, M. & Meinig, H.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is very widespread and common. Although habitat destruction is a general threat, it is not a serious threat to the species at present. Consequently, Sorex minutus qualifies as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: It occurs from the British Isles and Iberia through much of continental Europe, European Russia and Siberia to Lake Baikal in the east. The northernmost limit of its range extends beyond the arctic circle. It occurs from sea level to 2,000 m in the Pyrenees (Palomo and Gisbert 2002) and 2,260 m in the Alps (Spitzenberger 2002).

In South Asia, this species has been reported from North Western Frontier Province in Pakistan and Kashmir in India. However, due to the taxonomic confusion between this species and S. planiceps, its distribution limits in this region are difficult to determine.
Albania; Andorra; Armenia (Armenia); Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; India; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Pakistan; Poland; Portugal; 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 a common species in suitable habitats throughout its range, and it may even be the dominant shrew species in swampy areas (Hutterer 1999).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It tends to be found in relatively damp areas with dense vegetation at ground level, and it occurs in a wide variety of habitats including swamps, grasslands, heaths, sand dunes, woodland edge, rocky areas, shrubland, and montane forests. It feeds on invertebrates (Hutterer 1990, 1999).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It suffers from destruction of habitat, use of pesticides and declining invertebrates. However, these are not considered to be major threats to the global or European regional persistence of the species at present. The apparent geographic isolation of some Iberian populations may make local extinctions more likely (Palomo and Gisbert 2002).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention. It occurs in a number of protected areas throughout its wide range. Studies of its ecology and distribution are required in Portugal (Cabral et al. 2005), and isolated Iberian populations should be monitored.

Bibliography [top]

Cabral, M. J., Almeida, J., Almeida, P. R., Dellinger, T., Ferrand de Almeida, N., Oliveira, M. E., Palmeirim, J. M., Queiroz, A. I., Rogado, L. and Santos-Reis, M. (eds). 2005. Livro Vermelho dos Vertebrados de Portugal. Instituto da Conservação da Natureza, Lisboa.

Hutterer, R. 1990. Sorex minutus Linnaeus, 1766 - Zwergspitzmaus. In: J. Niethammer and F. Krapp (eds), Handbuch der Säugetiere Europas. Band 3/I, Insectivora, Primates, Aula Verlag, Wiesbaden, Germany.

Hutterer, R. 1999. Sorex minutus. In: A. J. Mitchell-Jones, G. Amori, W. Bogdanowicz, B. Kryštufek, P. J. H. Reijnders, F. Spitzenberger, M. Stubbe, J. B. M. Thissen, V. Vohralík, and J. Zima (eds), The Atlas of European Mammals, Academic Press, London, UK.

Palomo, L. J. and Gisbert, J. 2002. Atlas de los mamíferos terrestres de España. Dirección General de Conservación de la Naturaleza. SECEM-SECEMU, Madrid, Spain.

Spitzenberger F. 2002. Die Säugetierfauna Österreichs. Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft. Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft, Band.

Citation: Hutterer, R., Amori, G., Kryštufek, B., Fernandes, M. & Meinig, H. 2008. Sorex minutus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 30 March 2015.
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