Kirtland's shorttailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda
Note: There is no current picture of this subspecies of Blarina
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Not confirmed.
CHARACTERISTICS: The total length of this shrew is 95-134 mm,
with a weight from 11-22 grams. The external ear is not apparent, and
the eyes are minute. The tail is always less than half the length of the
head and body. The color is grayish-black, sometimes with a silvery or
brownish cast. They are active day and night and throughout the year.
The home range is from 0.5-1.0 acre. Populations can be as high as 25
acre, usually fewer. This species builds its own tunnels in the ground or
snow, but it also uses those of other animals. The nest is built of dry
leaves, grass and hair with a diameter from 6-8 inches. The nests are be-
neath logs, stumps, rocks, or debris. The reproductive season is from
March to November with 3-4 litters of 6-7 young born per year. These
animals always seem nervous, hyperactive and aggressive. A strong
secretion from a gland in the abdomen is used to mark their territory and
for sex recognition. This species feeds on insects, worms, snails, other
invertebrates, and possibly even young mice. The saliva is toxic to prey.
The longevity of this species is from 1-2 years. This species is prey for
many snakes, birds and carnivorous mammals.
DISTRIBUTION: This species is found in a wider range of habitats than
any other small mammal, and is usually the most abundant. Damp mature
deciduous-coniferous woods consistently supported the highest numbers.
They also inhabited fields of sedges and tall grasses. Only dry fields and
woods and talus slopes are avoided.
FOODS: This species feeds on insects, worms, snails, other invertebrates,
and possibly young mice.
Crooked Run Valley