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Sorex pribilofensis

Pribilof Island Shrew

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Soricidae

Image of Sorex pribilofensis
Click to enlarge. (91 kb)

Conservation Status: Endangered.


The Pribilof Island Shrew lives in maritime tundra on St. Paul Island, and almost nothing is known about its biology. A small shrew was collected by Russian explorers in 1840. They said it came from "Unalaska," which may have meant Unalaska Island, Alaska. However, none have been found there since. A species similar to the one the Russians described (and named) was later found on St. Paul Island, one of the Pribilof Islands, now part of Alaska, and given a different name; it occurs in relative abundance there. This raises many unanswered questions: did a shrew that is now extinct once live on Unalaska Island? Are there two species, or just the one we know as the Pribilof Island shrew?

Also known as:
Unalaska Island Shrew

Sexual Dimorphism:
None

Length:
Range: 88-97 mm

Weight:
Range: 3-4 g

References:

Merriam, C.H., 1895. Synopsis of the American shrews of the genus Sorex. North American Fauna, No. 10, 57-98.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Sorex pribilofensis