Taxonomy

Crocidura russula | Greater White-toothed Shrew

Distribution

Status

Conservation status

Least concern

Native status

Non-native

First reported in the wild

2008

Invasiveness

Invasive species - risk of Medium Impact

Irish status

Established

Introduction pathways - 1

Uncertain

Invasive score

16

NAPRA Ireland risk assessed

No

Species Biology

Identification

Larger than the native pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus), greyish or reddish brown in colour with prominent ears and long, white hairs on the tail (Churchfield,2008).

Ecology

Feeds on a wide variety of invertebrates (Churchfield, 2008). Studies have shown that it has a negative impact on the abundance of wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus)and the occurrence of the pygmy shrew, though the mechanism is unclear (Montgomery et al., 2012), with the pygmy shrew completely absent at sites where C. russula is established. It appears to a positive impact on the occurrence of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), which may contribute to the effects on the other two species.

Habitat

Woodland, forest and other wooded land; Regularly or recently cultivated agricultural, horticultural and domestic habitats; Grasslands and lands dominated by forbs, mosses and lichens

Reproduction

Litter size typically 2-11 with a mean of 4, producing several litters a year with a gestation period of 28-33 days (Churchfield, 2008).

Pathway and vector description

It is not known at present how this species entered Ireland but it is thought to have been present since at least 2001, despite only being reported in 2008.

Mechanism of impact

Competition, Interaction with other invasive species, Other

Broad environment

Terrestrial

Habitat description

Found in hedgerows, wooded land, grassland and cultivated areas (Churchfield, 2008).

Species group

Vertebrate

Native region

Europe

Similar species

Pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus)

Distribution

World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

Established - Widespread and expanding. Range estimated at 7,600km2 in 2013, with a rate of expansion of 0.5-14.1km/yr depending on landscape characteristics (McDevitt et al., 2014). 

Native distribution

Native range extends from central Germany to Iberia and into Northern Africa (Churchfield, 2008)

Temporal change

Date of first record category

2001-2010

Fifty year date category

2001-2050

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2019

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How can you help

Report any sightings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

References

Publications

Montgomery, W.I., Lundy, M.G. and Reid, N., (2012). ‘Invasional meltdown’: evidence for unexpected consequences and cumulative impacts of multispecies invasions. Biological Invasions, 14(6), pp.1111-1125.

Churchfield, S. (2008) Greater white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula In: Mammals of the British Isles: Handbook, 4th Edition. (Eds) Harris, S. & Yalden, D.W. The Mammal Society, Southampton. 

McDevitt, A.D., Montgomery, W.I., Tosh, D.G., Lusby, J., Reid, N., White, T.A., McDevitt, C.D., O'Halloran, J., Searle, J.B. and Yearsley, J.M., (2014). Invading and expanding: range dynamics and ecological consequences of the greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula) invasion in Ireland.  2014 Jun 23;9(6):e100403. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100403. eCollection 2014

 Invading and expanding: range dynamics and ecological consequences of the greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula) invasion in Ireland.

Atlas of Irish Mammals

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Images