IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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Like the greater white-toothed shrew, this species alternates bouts of activity with rest (2) throughout both the day and night (3), but activity peaks at dusk and dawn (3). It is typically a solitary species, but is not as aggressive as Sorex species (3). White-toothed shrews are also known as 'musk shrews' because they have a strong musky aroma. They are known to 'belly-mark' their home ranges by dragging their belly along the ground in order to scent-mark it (4). As home ranges overlap, it is likely that it is not very territorial (3). It feeds on a variety of invertebrates (2) including small crustaceans that live amongst rocks on the seashore (4). They nest under logs and stones or in burrows (2). The breeding season extends from March to September, and females become receptive and conceive whilst they are still suckling the previous litter (3). This species has a greater reproductive output than any of the British red-toothed shrews, producing 4-5 litters a year, each comprising of 1-6 young (5). The young exhibit 'caravanning' behaviour (2); if the nest is disturbed, the female leads the young to a new nest site; the young follow her in a line, each one grasping the tail of the shrew in front by the tail (4). The average life span of this shrew is up to 18 months (3).


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Source: ARKive

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