Animal Info - Malayan Water Shrew

(Other Names: Asiatic, Hantu or Oriental Water Shrew)

Chimarrogale hantu

Status: Critically Endangered


Contents

1. Profile
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (Size and Weight, IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Habitat, Diet, Behavior, Social Organization)
5. References


Profile

This relatively large shrew has a head and body length of about 10 cm (4"). It has tiny eyes and ears and a long tail relative to its body size. The Malayan water shrew occurs in tropical forest in the banks of streams. Asiatic water shrews apparently swim well under water. They are said to walk along the bottom feeding on benthic organisms.  The entrances of their burrows are usually under water. They have a number of physical adaptations to aquatic life, including small ears with flaps to seal their ears when submerged; dense, water repellent fur; streamlined head and body; and feet fringed with stiff hairs to aid kick-propulsion in water. Asiatic water shrews eat insects, aquatic larvae, crustaceans, and possibly small fish. The Malayan water shrew is solitary 

The Malayan water shrew has only been found in the Ulu Langat Forest Reserve on the Malay Peninsula. It occurs in a very limited area that is declining because of human encroachment. Threats include fish traps, pollution, and deforestation 


Tidbits

*** Shrews in the genus Chimarrogale are also known as "Asiatic water shrews" and "Oriental water shrews."


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where the Malayan Water Shrew Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in Malaysia (IUCN 2004).

History of Distribution:

The Malayan water shrew has only been found in the Ulu Langat Forest Reserve in Selangor State, Malay Peninsula, Malaysia, about 20 km (12 mi) east of Kuala Lumpur (IUCN 2004).

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

The Malayan water shrew occurs in a very limited area that is declining because of human encroachment. Threats include fish traps, pollution, and deforestation (Burnie & Wilson 2001).


Data on Biology and Ecology

Size and Weight:

The Malayan water shrew has a head and body length of 8 - 12 cm (3.1 - 4.7"). It weighs about 30 g (1.1 oz). (Burnie & Wilson 2001).

Habitat:

The Malayan water shrew occurs in tropical forest.  It has been found living in the banks of a stream at an altitude below 300 m (1000').

The Malayan water shrew is one of the species that live in the Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl.).

Diet:

Asiatic water shrews eat insects, aquatic larvae, crustaceans, and possibly small fish.

Behavior:

Asiatic water shrews apparently swim well under water. They are said to walk along the bottom feeding on benthic organisms.  The entrances of their burrows are usually under water. They have a number of physical adaptations to aquatic life, including small ears with flaps to seal their ears when submerged; dense, water repellent fur; streamlined head and body; and feet fringed with stiff hairs to aid kick-propulsion in water.

Like many water shrews, the Malayan water shrew spreads skin oils through its fur by regular grooming, to maintain its coat’s water-repellent properties (Burnie & Wilson 2001).

Social Organization:

The Malayan water shrew is solitary (Burnie & Wilson 2001).


References

Burnie & Wilson 2001, Carter et al. 1946, Cons. Intl., IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Nowak 1999, Stone 1995, Wilson & Reeder 1993


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Last modified: January 2, 2005;

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