Sorex bendirii - (Merriam, 1884)
Marsh Shrew
Other English Common Names: Pacific Water Shrew, marsh shrew
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Sorex bendirii (Merriam, 1884) (TSN 179940)
French Common Names: musaraigne de Bendire
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100289
Element Code: AMABA01170
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Other Mammals
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Soricomorpha Soricidae Sorex
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.
Concept Reference Code: B93WIL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Sorex bendirii
Taxonomic Comments: Hope et al. (2014) support the recognition by O?Neill et al. (2005) of S. bendirii as distinct from other North American water shrews.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 05Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 01Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Range includes the North American Pacific coast from extreme southwestern British Columbia to northwestern California; many occurrences but apparently rare in most of range; population size unknown; population trend poorly known; habitat has been reduced and fragmented by development..
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (05Dec1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N2? (01Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (SNR), Oregon (S4), Washington (S4)
Canada British Columbia (S2?)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: E (05Jun2003)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Endangered (29Apr2016)
Comments on COSEWIC: The habitat of this rare species, confined to the lower Fraser valley region of British Columbia, continues to decline and fragment as a result of development. There is little chance of rescue. It is extremely rare throughout its range.

Designated Threatened in April 1994 and in May 2000. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in April 2006. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2016.

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range includes coastal lowlands of western North America, from southwestern British Columbia (Fraser Lowland Ecosection, eastward to the Chilliwack River and Harrison Lake; usually at elevations below 600 meters but up to 850 meters) to northwestern California (Nagorsen 1996, Galindo-Leal and Zuleta 1997). In British Columbia, S. palustris occurs at higher elevations (Nagorsen 1996).

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations). Verts and Carraway (1998) mapped approximately 100 collection sites in Oregon; these represent at least several dozen distinct occurrences. The 142 known "occurrence" records in British Columbia represent about 44 distinct locations or sites (COSEWIC 2006).

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: Determination of shrew abundance is relatively difficult, and in most of the range few surveys using appropriate methods have been directed at this species, so total adult population size is unknown. Available data suggest that this shrew is relatively rare throughout its range (e.g., Aubry et al. 1991, COSEWIC 2006). Extensive trapping (> 40,000 trap-nights; pitfalls, snap traps, and live traps) in British Columbia yielded very few individuals of this species (see COSEWIC 2006).

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: In Canada, suitable habitat has disappeared at a rapid rate and most remaining habitat is highly modified, fragmented, and isolated, due to residential, commercial, recreational (such as golf courses), industrial, and agricultural development (COSEWIC 2006). Additionally, run-off and storm water management associated with these developments often degrades shrew habitat (COSEWIC 2006). These threats apply to a usually lesser degree across the global range.

Short-term Trend Comments: Population in British Columbia is apparently rare and thought to be declining (COSEWIC 2006),

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) Range includes coastal lowlands of western North America, from southwestern British Columbia (Fraser Lowland Ecosection, eastward to the Chilliwack River and Harrison Lake; usually at elevations below 600 meters but up to 850 meters) to northwestern California (Nagorsen 1996, Galindo-Leal and Zuleta 1997). In British Columbia, S. palustris occurs at higher elevations (Nagorsen 1996).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA, OR, WA
Canada BC

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: Sechrest, 2002

Ecology & Life History
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General Description: See Nagorsen (1996).
Diagnostic Characteristics: See Nagorsen (1996). See Carraway (1995) for a key to western North American soricids based primarily on dentaries.
Reproduction Comments: Considering the entire range, the breeding season extends from late January to late August (Nagorsen 1996, Maser 1998). Gestation lasts about 3 weeks. Litter size is 3-7 (Nagorsen 1996, Maser 1998, Verts and Carraway 1998). Females produce probably 2-3 litters in a single season. Males and probably female do not breed in their first summer (Pattie 1969, Nagorsen 1996). Apparently, adults breed in only one season and live not more than about 18 months (see COSEWIC 2006).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Harris (1984) estimated home range size at 1.09 hectares but did not provide the source of this estimate.
Estuarine Habitat(s): Herbaceous wetland
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Conifer, Forest - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Sorex bendirii is primarily a riparian habitat specialist; often it is associated with dense wet forests (e.g., western red-cedar), marshes (e.g., areas with skunk cabbage), muddy forests and forest edges, or red alder stands and other vegetation adjacent to water (usually streams/springs) (Bailey 1936, Anthony et al. 1987, Nagorsen 1996, Verts and Carraway 1998, COSEWIC 2006), but sometimes it has been captured in upland forest (e.g., West 1991, McComb et al. 1993, Gomez and Anthony 1998). Generally it occurs in areas of coniferous or mixed forest with downed logs, sometimes in grassy habitats bordering ditches or sloughs (COSEWIC 2006); often, but not always, in mature stands (Bailey 1936, Anthony et al. 1987, Nagorsen 1996, Gomez and Anthony 1998, Verts and Carraway 1998, Lomolino and Perault 2001, COSEWIC 2006). This shrew is highly amphibious and readily swims and dives.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Diet is primarily aquatic insects, slugs, snails, earthworms, and other small, usually soft-bodied invertebrates (Whitaker and Maser 1976, Verts and Carraway 1998), sometimes small fishes and salamander larvae, (see COSEWIC 2006).. Food may be captured on land or in water. Excess food may be cached.
Phenology Comments: Activity occurs throughout the year.
Length: 17 centimeters
Weight: 16 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Monitoring Requirements: This shrew has been captured in submerged minnow traps set in small streams (Nagorsen 1996).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Shrews

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: An area of suitable habitat where there is evidence of presence (or historical presence), with potential for continued presence; evidence minimally including a specimen or, in the case of certain species, a determination by a reliable observer of a live specimen in the hand.
Separation Barriers: Arbitrarily set at rivers wider than 50 meters at low water. Some shrews are relatively strong, active swimmers (notably SOREX PALUSTRIS, S. BENDIRII, SOREX ALASKANUS). No data on dispersal or other movement across water barriers.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Dispersal distances of shrews are poorly known, but these mammals are mobile enough to cover fairly large distances. Mature males especially may wander widely (Hawes 1977). Separation distance for suitable habitat attempts to reflect the small home range size of shrews, their secretive habits and consequent apparent absence in areas where they do in fact occur, and the seemingly low probability that two occupied locations separated by a gap of less than several kilometers of suitable habitat would represent independent populations.

Home ranges small: for breeding SOREX VAGRANS in British Columbia, 338 - 5261 square meters (Hawes 1977); in California, mean of about 372 square meters (Ingles 1961); for breeding S. MONTICOLUS (=OBSCURUS) in British Columbia, mean of 4020 square meters (Hawes 1977); for S. ARANEUS in England, a fall and winter home range of about 2800 square meters, with females occupying exclusive ranges (Buckner 1969).

Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17Jun2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 17Jun2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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