The water shrew (Sorex palustris) is a relatively uncommon species in BCR 14. It prefers wet areas and softwood edges along ponds, streams and other water bodies. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14.

Habitat Needs

This animal has been found in upland northern hardwood habitat away from water but it prefers marsh and shrub zones along ponds and streams in coniferous forest types. It also uses more wooded shoreline that contains crevices between rocks and roots and overhanging banks. It feeds mainly on insects but will eat small fish, larval amphibians and other invertebrates.

Little is know about territory size and other habits of this species.

This is a riparian species. See suggested riparian management guidelines under Non-Forest Palustrine type.

Habitat Management Practices

The standard management practices for riparian management zones will preserve the habitat for water shrew. The key guideline is to establish a no-harvest zone within 25 feet of water edges.

Silvicultural Practices

Allow no cutting within 25 feet of water edges, unless trees need to be cut within the 25-foot zone for other management or habitat objectives. In those cases, maintain a minimum of 50 percent of the basal area in four-inch diameter (DBH) trees, or greater, along with a shrub understory.

Additional Information