Neurotrichus gibbsii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Eulipotyphla Talpidae

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

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-08-09
Assessor(s): Cassola, F.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Listed as Least Concern because it is widespread, there are no major threats, and its population is not believed to be in decline.
Previously published Red List assessments:

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.
Countries occurrence:
Canada (British Columbia); United States (California, Oregon, Washington)
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2440
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).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

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.
Generation Length (years):2

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.

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 -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.3. Wetlands (inland) - Shrub Dominated Wetlands

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]

Carraway, L. N. and Verts, B. J. 1991. Neurotrichus gibbsii. Mammalian Species 387: 1-7.

Dalquest, W. W. 1948. Mammals of Washington. 2: 1-144.

Dalquest, W. W. and Orcutt, D. R. 1942. The biology of the least shrew-mole, Neurotrichus gibbsii minor. American Midland Naturalist 27: 387-401.

Ingles, L.G. 1965. Mammals of the Pacific States. Stanford University Press, Stanford, USA.

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).

Maser, C., Mate, B.R., Franklin, J.F. and Dryness, C.T. (eds). 1981. Natural history of Oregon coast mammals. pp. 496 pp.. Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station.

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.

Citation: Cassola, F. 2016. Neurotrichus gibbsii (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41468A115188045. . Downloaded on 22 April 2018.
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