Abundance and species richness of shrews within ...

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Title Abundance and species richness of shrews within forested habitats on Prince Edward Island
Author(s) L. Hartling, Marina Silva
Journal American Midland Naturalist
Date 2004
Volume 151
Issue 2
Start page 399
End page 407
Abstract Little is known about the small mammalian fauna of Prince Edward Island (Canada), particularly shrews. Although historical data indicate the presence of five shrew species on Prince Edward Island (Sorex cinereus, S. fumeus, S. hoyi, S. palustris and Blarina brevicauda), recent studies have failed to capture S. fumeus, S. hoyi and S. palustris on the Island. During a study designed to examine the abundance of amphibians in 11 forest fragments located in the central region of Prince Edward Island, we collected 344 shrews in pitfall traps. S. cinereus was the most abundant species captured, and was present in all forest fragments. B. brevicauda was captured in all but one forest fragment. S. fumeus was found in only one fragment. S. hoyi and S. palustris were not captured during this study. No significant correlations were found between physical characteristics of forest remnants (i.e., area, perimeter, and area:perimeter) and the total abundance, species richness or species diversity of shrews. However, shrew captures were correlated with various biotic characteristics including ground temperature, the presence of canopy cover, number of stumps and number of logs. We conclude that both B. brevicauda and S. cinereus are common and widespread-distributed on Prince Edward Island. In conjunction with other recent studies, our findings indicate that S. hoyi is extremely rare on the Island and that it is possible that the species is extirpated from Prince Edward Island..

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