Animal Info - Gansu Shrew

Sorex cansulus

Status: Critically Endangered


Contents

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


Profile

Picture: A related long-tailed shrew (Sorex araneus) attacking an earthworm (50 Kb GIF) (The Shrew (-ist's) Site)

The Gansu shrew is known from only three specimens. Its size has not been recorded. Shrews in the genus Sorex vary in size from about 50 - 100 mm (2 - 4"). They usually eat insects, worms and other small invertebrates. They can be active by day or night and do not become seasonally inactive. Shrews in the genus Sorex are generally solitary and highly aggressive towards each other. They have periods of deep sleep, but during their waking hours they are extremely active.

The Gansu shrew is known only from three specimens found in Gansu Province, China. It is restricted to relatively small patches of suitable habitat that are declining because of human encroachment.


Tidbits

*** Shrews in the genus Sorex are also known as "long-tailed shrews." The 68 species in this genus can be found in most of the temperate and arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

*** Almost nothing is known about the status of the Gansu shrew (Stone 1995).


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where the Gansu Shrew Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in China (Gansu Province). (IUCN 2004)

History of Distribution:

The Gansu shrew is known only from three specimens found in Gansu Province, China.

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

The Gansu shrew is restricted to relatively small patches of suitable habitat that are declining because of human encroachment (Nowak 1999).


Data on Biology and Ecology

Size and Weight:

Shrews in the genus Sorex vary in size (head and body length: 46 - 100 mm (1.8 - 4")) and weight (2.1 - 18 g (0.08 - 0.6 oz)).

Age to Maturity:

Females usually breed first in the Spring of their second year.

Gestation Period:

Gestation in the genus Sorex is thought to range from 18 - 26 days (Nowak 1999).

Maximum Age:

Usually 1 - 2 years.

Diet:

Shrews in the genus Sorex usually eat insects, worms and other small invertebrates.

Behavior:

Shrews in the genus Sorex can be active by day or night and do not become seasonally inactive.  They have periods of deep sleep, but during their waking hours they are extremely active. The young sometimes travel by caravaning. (Nowak 1999)

Social Organization:

Shrews in the genus Sorex are generally solitary and highly aggressive towards each other. 


References

IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Nowak 1999, The Shrew (-ist's) Site, Stone 1995, Wilson & Reeder 1993


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Last modified: January 3, 2005;

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