Marsh shrew

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Marsh shrew[1]
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Soricomorph
Family: Soricidae
Genus: Sorex
Species: S. bendirii
Binomial name
Sorex bendirii
(Merriam, 1884)
Marsh Shrew area.png
Marsh shrew range

The marsh shrew (Sorex bendirii), also known as the Pacific water shrew, is a large North American shrew found near aquatic habitats, the largest member of genus Sorex in North America. It is found along the Pacific coast from southern British Columbia in Canada to northern California in the United States.[2]

The marsh shrew is dark brown in colour with dark underparts and a long tail. Its hind feet have coarse hairs on the toes. Its body is about 16 cm in length including a 7 cm long tail and it weighs about 13 g.It swims and takes short dives in search of food. Its diet includes earthworms, aquatic insects, slugs and snails. This animal is active during the day but is more active at night. The female has a litter of 3 or 4 young in a nest in a tunnel or under a log. Water shrews typically live about 18 months. The range and numbers of these animals are thought to have declined due to loss of suitable wetland habitat, especially near urban areas and farmlands.


There are three subspecies recognized for this species:[1]

  • Sorex bendirii albiventer
  • Sorex bendirii bendirii
  • Sorex bendirii palmeri


  1. ^ a b Hutterer, R. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 285. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b Hammerson, G. (2008). "Sorex bendirii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 8 February 2010. 

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