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Pygmy Shrew

(Sorex minutus)

Size: 4-6cm – 3-4cm tail Weight: 3.5-7g Lifespan: max. 18 months


Identification: With no visible ears and very small eyes they have a long whiskered snout. The dorsal fur is brown while the belly is pale in colour. The major confusion species is common shrew. The key distinguishing feature is the proportionally long and very thick tail. General: A native species common in both the countryside and urban areas, they prefer woodlands, grassland hedgerows and gardens. Mating takes place in the late spring/summer. Young are weaned after 21 days and can sometimes be seen closely following their mother. They are usually solitary and aggressively defend their territory, feeding mostly on insects, but will take seeds and fruits as well. They are mainly nocturnal but due to their high metabolism they need to feed frequently so will forage during the day usually under leaf litter or other cover eating more than their own bodyweight each day. Pygmy shrews have many predators and a short life expectancy. Droppings

Distribution - UK: There are approx. 8 million distributed widely throughout the UK in all parts except for the Scilly isles and Shetland. The population is stable. SE


Cambridgeshire Mammal Atlas  
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