Animal Info - Gabon Dwarf Shrew

(Other Names: Musk Pygmy Shrew, Remy's Shrew)

Suncus remyi

Status: Least Concern


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 (Weight, Habitat, Diet, 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 Gabon dwarf shrew is one of the smallest shrews, with one specimen weighed at 1.4 g (0.05 oz). It is found in undisturbed rainforest, where it eats insects (up to the size of the shrew) and other small invertebrates. Shrews in this genus are generally solitary and aggressive towards each other. The young sometimes travel by caravaning.

The Gabon dwarf shrew was first described in 1965 from Gabon. It is thought to occupy a small and decreasing area. However, it is now considered to be more widespread than previously thought.


Tidbits

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

*** African musk shrews are inconspicuous and rarely trapped (Kingdon, 1997).


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

  • 1996 - 2003: Critically Endangered (Criteria: B1+2c) (IUCN 2003a)
  • 2004: LC (Least Concern) "This species is apparently rare at present. However, it is more widespread than previously thought. Currently not considered threatened." (IUCN 2004) 

Countries Where the Gabon Dwarf Shrew Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, and Gabon. (IUCN 2004)

History of Distribution:

The Gabon dwarf shrew was first described in 1965 from two areas in Gabon, Belinga and Makokou (Nicoll & Rathbun 1990).  

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

The Gabon dwarf shrew is thought to occupy a small and decreasing area.


Data on Biology and Ecology

Weight:

1.4 g (0.05 oz) (Smiths. Inst. 2002)

Habitat:

The Gabon dwarf shrew is found in undisturbed rainforest.

Diet:

African musk shrews eat insects (up to the size of the shrew) and other small invertebrates (Kingdon, 1997).

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

IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Kingdon, 1997, Nicoll & Rathbun 1990, Nowak 1999, Smiths. Inst. 2002, Stone 1995, The Shrew (-ist's) Site, Wilson & Reeder 1993


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Last modified: January 16, 2005;

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