Christmas Island shrew

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Christmas Island shrew

Critically endangered, possibly extinct (IUCN 3.1[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Soricidae
Genus: Crocidura
Species: C. trichura
Binomial name
Crocidura trichura
Dobson, 1889
Christmas Island Shrew area.png
Christmas Island shrew range

Crocidura fuliginosa trichura
Crocidura attenuata trichura

The Christmas Island shrew (Crocidura trichura), also known as Christmas Island musk-shrew is an extremely rare or possibly extinct shrew from Christmas Island. It was variously placed as subspecies of the Asian gray shrew (Crocidura attenuata) or the Southeast Asian shrew (Crocidura fuliginosa),[2] but morphological differences and the large distance between the species indicate that it is a distinct species.[3] This forest dwelling mammal was at first thought to have vanished by 1908, probably due to a trypanosoma disease carried by introduced black rats, which is also considered a likely cause of the extinctions of Maclear's rat and the bulldog rat.[4] After an unconfirmed sighting in 1958, it was rediscovered in 1985 when two specimens were caught. The two individuals later died. Several unconfirmed reports occurred between 1996 and 1998 but a survey undertaken in 2000 failed to find any individuals.[4] Its disappearance in recent times might be caused by the accidentally introduced yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) which is a dangerous threat for many terrestrial animals on Christmas Island.[4]


  1. ^ L. Lumsden & M. Schulz (2008). Crocidura trichura. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
  2. ^ Francis Harper (1945). Extinct and Vanishing Mammals of the Old World. 
  3. ^ Rainer Hutterer (2005). "Crocidura trichura". In D. E. Wilson & D. M. Reeder. Mammal Species of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press. 
  4. ^ a b c Michael Schulz (2004). National Recovery Plan for the Christmas Island Shrew Crocidura attenuata trichura (PDF). Canberra: Department of the Environment and Heritage. p. 23.