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Species: Shrew

Protection Level
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Federally Protected Yes
State Protected Yes
VA Nuisance Species No

 




Identification
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Water Shrew
Sorex palustris
Federally Endangered

Photos

 

county distribution map for Sorex palustris

 

Pygmy Shrew
Sorex hoyi

Photos

 

 

county distribution map for Sorex hoyi

Southern Short-tailed Shrew
Blarina carolinensis carolinensis

Photos

 

county distribution map for Blarina carolinensis carolinensis

 

Northern Short-tailed Shrew
Blarina brevicauda

Photos

 

county distribution map for Blarina brevicauda

 

Kirtland’s Short-tailed Shrew
Blarina brevicauda kirtlandi
 

 

county distribution map for Blarina brevicauda kirtlandi

 

Least Shrew
Cryptotis parva

Photos

 

 

county distribution map for Cryptotis parva

Ashen Masked Shrew
Sorex cinereus

Photos

 

county distribution map for Sorex cinereus

 

Smoky Shrew
Sorex fumeus fumeus

Photos

  county distribution map for Sorex fumeus fumeus

Long-tailed Shrew
Sorex dispar dispar

Photos

  county distribution map for Sorex dispar dispar

Southeastern Shrew
Sorex longirostris longirostris

Photos

  county distribution map for Sorex longirostris longirostris
Dismal Swamp Southeastern Shrew
Sorex longirostris fisheri
  county distribution map for Sorex longirostris fisheri
Dismal Swamp Short-tailed Shrew
Blarina brevicauda telmalestes
 
county distribution map for Blarina brevicauda telmalestes



Legal
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The shrew is classified as a non game protected species. Virginia code allows for the taking of a species found committing or about to commit depredation upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, wildlife, livestock or other property or when concentrated in numbers and manners as to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance 29.1-100. The nuisance classification does not pertain to threatened or endangered species, animals classified as game or fur-bearing animals, and those species protected by state or federal law. All species of vole except the water shrew are capable of being classified as a nuisance by Virginia landowners. The water shrew is a federally threatened species and therefore can not be taken at any time. As with all wildlife non-lethal control measures should be exhausted before lethal measures are used.

In Virginia it is illegal to

  • set a trap where it would be likely to injure persons, dogs, stock or fowl 29.1-521,
  • not visit all traps once each day and remove all animals caught 29.1-521,
  • transport, release, or relocate a shrews anywhere other than the property it was caught on 4VAC15-30-50, and
  • poison any animal (including shrews) other than rats and mice on your property 4VAC15-40-50.

In Virginia it is legal to

  • classify a shrew (except water shrew, it is federally protected) as a nuisance if it is committing or about to commit depredation upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, wildlife, livestock or other property or when concentrated in numbers and manners as to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance therefore allowing for the taking of the animal. §29.1-100

 

Management Options
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Other Sources

Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage- 1994

 

 

Life History
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Life History information can be found at the Virginia Fish and Wildlife Information Service Web page

Water Shrew

Pygmy Shrew

Southern Short-tailed Shrew

Northern Short-tailed Shrew

Kirtland’s Short-tailed Shrew

Least Shrew

Ashen Masked Shrew

Smoky Shrew

Long-tailed Shrew

Southeastern Shrew

Dismal Swamp Southeastern Shrew

Dismal Swamp Short-tailed Shrew


Disease
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The Center is not aware of any diseases that are transferable from shrew to humans. A thorough hand washing is recommended after coming into contact with any wild animal.