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Shrew Talk

"SHREW TALK" - Vol. 1, No. 10- 23 July 1997

SHREW TALK - 23 July 1997 - Vol. 1, No. 10
Number of Recipients: >218
Contents of this Issue
o Editorial
o Research
1. Shrews as venomous predators on birds?
2. Use of pitfall traps to capture shrews
3. More references on soil ingestion and contaminated sites
o Shrew-mateur
1. Dogs and shrews
o Shrew Bibliography: New Papers
1. A list of publications by Richard F. Shore
o What's New on the Shrew (ist's) Site
o. Shrew Leisure
1. A letter from the kids
o Shrew Talk Instructions
Dear Shrew-Fessionals and Shrew-Mateurs,
Once again, this issue takes us back to poisonous shrews and contaminated sites. I want to thank Dr. R. F. Shore for providing additional literature references. Finally, for your 'amusement', children tell us what NOT to do with shrews.
Your's shrewly,
Werner Haberl
1) Shrews as venomous predators on birds?
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 13:32:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: "lise.hanners" <lise.hanners@internetmci.com>
We have been observing ground nesting birds (Worm-eating Warblers) (Helmitheros vermivorus) whose nests have been depredated by Blarina brevicauda, we believe. We have 5 frozen nestlings that we retrieved from underground tunnels and we want to have the tissue analyzed to see if shrew venom is present. Does anyone know what the venom is, what category of compound, or any information so that the lab can have someplace to begin? If anyone knows a lab interested in looking for the venom that would also be helpful. Thanks!
2) Soil ingestion by shrews and contaminated sites
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 12:02:07 +0000
From: Richard Shore <RFS@wpo.nerc.ac.uk>
Dear Renee,
As Werner says, pitfalls can be effective for trapping shrews. I believe the reason that "wet" pitfalls are so effective is that they can be left for a considerable period of time without checking them and so you have a large capture effort in terms of time available for capture.
However, results from a study that I carried out a few years ago in the uplands of Wales suggest that dry pitfalling is inferior to using live traps such as Longworths. I compared the capture success of "dry" pitfalls with Longworths (in which I used a treadle ramp to prevent pygmy shrews running under the treadle), one trap of each type being placed at each trap point. Pitfall traps and Longworths were treated identically so that the comparison was fair. To summarise some of the results, I captured 18 pygmy shrews and 17 common shrews in total and 89% of all captures (new individuals and recaptures) were in Longworths. I never recaptured marked shrews in pitfalls whereas I did in Longworths. I did once have a common and pygmy shrew in a pitfall trap but unfortunately, most of the pygmy shrew was inside the common shrew!
The results of this study have ben published. The reference is:
Shore, R.F., Myhill, D.G., Lhotsky, R. & Mackenzie, S. 1995. Capture success for pygmy and common shrews (Sorex minutus and Sorex araneus) in Longworth and pitfall traps on upland blanket bog. Journal of Zoology (London)) 237 657-662.
I hope that this helps.
Richard Shore
3) More references on soil ingestion and contaminated sites
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 12:28:04 +0000
From: Richard Shore <RFS@wpo.nerc.ac.uk>
In addition to those supplied by Werner, I enclose some other references which may be of interest to those studying soil intake by shrews (and other animals) with respect to contamination. Apologies for any duplication which may slip in. It is also worth noting that there is evidence of good correspondence between certain metal levels in soils and residue levels in shrews (and other small mammals) (see in reference list below),
Best wishes Richard Shore
Beyer, W.N., Connor, E.E. & Gerould, S. (1994). Estimates of Soil Ingestion by Wildlife. Journal of Wildlife Management, 58, 375-382.
Calabrese, E.J. & Stanek, E.J. (1995). A dog's tale: Soil ingestion by a canine. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 32, 93-95.
Garten Jr, C.T. (1980). Ingestion of soil by hispid cotton rats. white-footed mice and eastern chipmunks. Journal of Mammalogy, 61, 136-137.
Pascoe, G.A., Blanchet, R.J. & Linder, G. (1996). Food chain analysis of exposures and risks to wildlife at a metals-contaminated wetland. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 30, 306-318.
Scheuhammer, A.M. & Norris, S.L. (1996). The ecotoxicology of lead shot and lead fishing weights. Ecotoxicology, 5, 279-295.
Schilderman, P.A.E.L., Moonen, E.J.C., Kempkers, P. & Kleinjans, J.C.S. (1997). Bioavailability of soil-adsorbed cadmium in orally exposed male rats. Environmental Health Perspectives, 105, 234-238.
Shore, R.F. (1995). Predicting cadmium, lead and fluoride levels in small mammals from soil residues and by species-species extraploation. Environmental Pollution, 88, 333-340.
1) Dogs & shrews
The following is a wonderful story about a mousing dog that was almost eaten by a shrew. It was written by Allex Michael, editor of "Animalwatch", and is a true story that happened to her growing up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I would like to thank Allex for giving me permission to use it on my web-site and for this digest. It first appeared in "Animalwatch" Volume 2, Issue Number 5.
Animalwatch is an educational journal presented by the Animal Knowledge & Information Network.
Werner Haberl
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 11:30:08 -0700
From: animal@cuug.ab.ca (animalwatch)
As a young girl, we lived in a large old tenement with a huge decrepit veranda. Every imaginable creature took refuge beneath this urban sanctuary at one time or another. One autumn day, the family dog disappeared. She was a small stocky mutt, known to venture underneath the sagging building after mice and other small creatures. Crawling around the veranda, calling her name between the rotting wood and ground, I suddenly heard a pitiful whining behind the front steps. The dog immediately rushed out to me. Still whining, a tiny mouse was dangling off her nose like an earring. The creature's long pointy muzzle had a vicelike grip and as I tried to pull it off a trickle of blood flowed down the dog's nose. By then my father had arrived. Totally disregarding my efforts, he tugged at the tiny mouse and the blood really started to flow. It was at this point that he brought out a small ax, held the dog's head against the cement step and cut the little mouse in half. As horrific as I remember this event, the dog shook it's bleeding nose and was now free of the dangling attacker. It wasn't until years later, that I realized this tiny mouse with the pointy nose was actually a masked shrew. This species is found throughout most of North America, except in the southern and SW United States. Masked shrews are also found near forests in NE Siberia. Although shrews are reputed to have bad attitudes, the family dog had no doubt threatened this small mammal and got more than the mouse she expected.
I am pretty confident that the shrew was likely defending itself and being harassed by the dog. The dog was a uncontrollable mouser, killing numerous mice for sport. But I should say that she was an abused stray that showed up one morning, so perhaps she had to eat mice to live for a while and then maintained her skills just in case. She was low to the ground (shorter legs, larger body) and about 30 pounds (13.6kg) in weight.
Box 402, Stn M Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 2J1
HOMEPAGE: http://www.cuug.ab.ca:8001/~animal/
Editor: Allex Michael Assistant Editor: Karmine Hudson Staff Writers: Yeub Rafayl, Karmine Hudson, Allex Michael along with Guest Writers.
1) A letter from the kids
From: GROG4040@aol.com
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 19:03:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: shrew
hi, my name is chris and casss we are 6. i lice your web site. srews are kool. once i had a dream about a screw. it bite me. i died.
we cant weight to see new pitures my favorate is the dwaorf scraw.geuss what we are going to both be sevan nthis month. do you got a pet shew at your home. we got a shew we got in the woods but every one says its a hampster, we name it shrewbib after you its fat and big but it never eats the froods we giuve it.we try to brush its teeth but it wont sit still and it spits the topthpaste out at us/ our cats try to eat her but shes to fast for them.its taking me forever to types this butts we like shews so much.when we try to give it a bath it scraches at us.cause mom gets madd if the shwew stinks ups the house.we loves pets we got 14fishes,2kittys,4puppys,3birds 1lizards.1frog,,and lots ands lots of litebugs,then our shrwew.and we also take the shew for walks every day for about a miles.the shew is our favorite pet one day the shewe had a shezer the docter says it got to tired from the walk so now we only go hafl the mile.okay im goiing to give the shew his flinstone vitamens and we eat what she dont eatofthe vitamenssowe can go to bed
ÒThe Shrew BibliographyÓ is a collection of more than 6000 references to research on the biology of the Soricidae (Insectivora, Mammalia) and small mammal ecology. More info: http://members.vienna.at/shrew/shrewbib.html
To announce your new research papers/books, please follow the instructions (separate fields with the character "#"): Author(s)#Year#Title#Journal&Page No.#Abstract#Keywords#Address *I* would appreciate receiving a reprint of your paper and/or a list of your publications to add to the bibliography.
1) A list of publications by Richard F. Shore (and colleagues)
Dell'Omo, G., Bryenton, R. & Shore, R.F. (1997). Effects of exposure to an organophosphate pesticide on behaviour and acetylcholinesterase activity in the common shrew, Sorex araneus. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, 16, 272-276.
Dell'Omo, G., Shore, R.F. & Fishwick, S.K. (1996). The relationship between brain, serum and whole blood ChE activity in the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) and the common shrew (Sorex araneus) after acute sublethal exposure to dimethoate. Biomarkers, 1, 202-207.
Shore, R.F. (1995). Predicting cadmium, lead and fluoride levels in small mammals from soil residues and by species-species extraploation. Environmental Pollution, 88, 333-340.
Shore, R.F. (1996). Accumulation and significance of cadmium and lead in woodland mammals. In Heavy Metals in Trees. (ed: Glimerveen, I.), British Ecological Society, Glasgow, pp. 124-149
Shore, R.F. & Douben, P.E.T. (1994a). Predicting ecotoxicological impacts of environmental contaminants on terrestrial small mammals. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 134, 49-89.
Shore, R.F. & Douben, P.E.T. (1994b). The ecotoxicological significance of cadmium intake and residues in terrestrial small mammals. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 29, 101-112.
Shore, R.F. & Garbett, S.D. (1991). Notes on the small mammals of the Shira Plateau, Mt. Kilimanjaro. Mammalia , 55, 601-607.
Shore, R.F. & Mackenzie, S. (1993). The effects of catchment liming on shrews Sorex spp. Biological Conservation, 64, 101-111.
Shore, R.F., Myhill, D.G., Lhotsky, R. & Mackenzie, S. (1995). Capture success for pygmy and common shrews (Sorex minutus and Sorex araneus) in Longworth and pitfall traps on upland blanket bog. Journal of Zoology (London), 237, 657-662.
o Last Update: 22July 1997
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Dr. Werner Haberl Editor, SHREW TALK (http://members.vienna.at/shrew/shrewtalk.html) Hamburgerstr. 11, A-1050 Vienna, Austria
Email: shrewbib@sorex.vienna.at URL: http://members.vienna.at/shrew (The Shrew (ist's) Site)
The Shrew Bibliography (> 6000 references) (available on CD ROM) ==================================================================

This web site was created by
Dr. Werner Haberl. Address: Hamburgerstrasse 11, A-1050 Vienna, Austria.
E-mail: shrewbib@sorex.vienna.at
URL: http://members.vienna.at/shrew