Animal Info - Black Shrew

(Other Names: Black Rat, Bornean Musk Rat)

Suncus ater

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, Habitat, Behavior, Social Organization)
5. References


Profile

Pictures: A related shrew (Suncus montanus) (58 Kb GIF) (The Shrew (-ist's) Site); A related shrew, the Pygmy White-toothed Shrew (Suncus etruscus), one of the smallest mammals in the world (18 Kb GIF) (The Shrew (-ist's) Site)

The black shrew is known from only one specimen.  The size of this animal was not recorded. Shrews in the genus Suncus range widely in size, from about 20 - 100 mm (0.8 - 4")). The one animal was found in montane forest. Shrews in this genus are generally solitary and aggressive towards each other. The young sometimes travel by caravaning.

The one recorded specimen  was found at 1700 m (5500') on Mt. Kinabalu, in Sabah, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. There is some question as to whether the species has become extinct. If it still survives, it is thought to occupy a very small and decreasing area.


Tidbits

*** Shrews in the genus Suncus (including the Flores Shrew and the Gabon Dwarf Shrew) are also known as "musk shrews" and "pygmy shrews".

*** Very little is known about the ecology and status of the black shrew (Stone 1995).


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where the Black Shrew Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in Malaysia (IUCN 2004).

History of Distribution:

The black shrew is known from only one specimen that was found at 1700 m (5500') on Mt. Kinabalu, in Sabah, Malaysia on the island of Borneo (IUCN 2004).

There is a question as to whether this shrew still survives (Stone 1995).

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

The black shrew, if it survives, is thought to occupy a very small and decreasing area.


Data on Biology and Ecology

Size and Weight:

Shrews in the genus Suncus range widely in size (head and body length: 20 - 100 mm (0.8 - 4")) and weight (2.5 - 106 g (0.1 - 3.8 oz)).

Habitat:

The black shrew has been found in montane tropical rainforest.

The black shrew is one of the species that live in both the Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl.) and the Mt. Kinabalu Montane and Alpine Scrub and Forest Global 200 Ecoregion. (Olson & Dinerstein 1998, Olson & Dinerstein 1999)

Behavior:

Young shrews in the genus Suncus sometimes travel by caravaning.

Social Organization:

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


References

Cons. Intl., IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Nowak 1999, Olson & Dinerstein 1998, Olson & Dinerstein 1999, The Shrew (-ist's) Site, Stone 1995, Wilson & Reeder 1993


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Last modified: March 3, 2006;

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