BC List Status:
Red (Candidates for- Extirpated, Endangered, or Threatened status)
Their relative large size and fringe hairs on the feet distinguish Pacific Water Shrew from all other shrew species except for American Water Shrew (Sorex palustris a.k.a. Common Water Shrew). American Water Shrew can be identified by grey to black dorsal fur with a silver-grey belly, a bi-coloured tail with a paler ventral surface, and a smaller skull with the rostrum not curved ventrally.
Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation in riparian zones causing damage and destruction of nests/den sites, litter abandonment and possibly extirpation of local populations due to urban development, agriculture and logging.
Loss of habitat components important to foraging and nesting due to removal of dead trees and down wood in riparian zones.
Increase in vehicle mortalities and population fragmentation due to roadways that cut through core habitat areas and lack wildlife passage structures.
Limited reproductive success and population sustainability due to short lifespan reducing the potential for ‘backup’ populations in the event of local population declines.
Adverse effects of contaminated runoff from roads and other impervious surfaces on water quality and turbidity, affecting species aquatic prey base and potentially the insulating capability of the shrew’s pelage.
Direct mortality from by-catch in minnow traps or small mammal traps from inventory activities, as well as potential mortality from rodent pest control activities in developments adjacent to riparian areas.
Predation from free ranging and feral domestic pets (i.e. cats).
Apply conservation and management objectives as set-out in the “Recovery Strategy for the Pacific Water Shrew Sorex bendirii in British Columbia” and “Best Management Practices Guidelines for Pacific Water Shrew in Urban and Rural Areas (BMP; working draft). Complementary objectives can be found in “Accounts and Measures for Managing Identified Wildlife – Accounts V. 2004 Pacific Water Shrew Sorex bendirii”.
This species is listed under the Federal Species At Risk Act (SARA), is Identified Wildlife under the BC Forest and Range Practices Act and subject to protections and prohibitions under the BC Wildlife Act. Habitat for this species may also be governed under provincial and federal regulations including the Fish Protection Act and Federal Fisheries Act as well as Regional and local municipal bylaws. Contact the Provincial regional species at risk biologist and/or the recovery team for the most up to date information.