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Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens

AG Säugetierkunde in NRW

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Common shrew

Rote Liste NRW: u Ungefährdet

Sorex araneus




Foto: Henning Vierhaus
The Common Shrew is the most common shrew of our forests, meadows and open landscapes. It is the prototype of a shrew: brown tube-shaped body, pointed snout with a moveable small trunk, a tail of medium length and short fore- and hindlimbs armed with claws. The coloration of the underside is slightly lighter and usually moves without transition into the dark coloration of the back. The animals move quickly, almost hectic, if one is lucky to see them whispering through the grass. Natural, moist locations are preferred, but gardens and parks are also colonised. A dense grass or herb layer and a soft soil in which a tunnel system and nests are constructed is important. Very wet locations like bogs and sedge meadows with standing water are avoided because earthworms, their preferred prey, can hardly live here. Higher elevations of the hill country are also occupied. In NRW, all halfway suitable habitats are occupied by the species. Usually it shares the same habitat with the Crowned Shrew; only in parts of Eastern Westphalia is it the dominant species. The western border of the Common Shrew distribution runs through Belgium and Luxembourg.It occupies all of Northern, Central and Eastern Europe to Siberia.


Rainer Hutterer


Hutterer R (2023): Waldspitzmaus (Sorex araneus).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2023/03/27



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