Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2017, 65, 401-409
Published online 2017-04-30

Abundance of Common Shrew (Sorex Araneus) in Selected Forest Habitats of Moravia (Czech Republic)

Martina Dokulilová, Josef Suchomel

Department of Zoology, Fisheries, Hydrobiology and Apiculture , Faculty of AgriSciences, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic

Abundance of common shrew (Sorex araneus) was evaluated on selected forest sites in Moravia, Czech Republic. Six types of habitats were assessed: forest clearings and mature forests in lowlands (173 – 233 m), uplands (360 – 600 m), and mountains (600 – 1200 m). Data were collected over five‑year‑long periods; 2006 – 2010 (uplands) and 2007 – 2011 (lowlands and mountains). Small terrestrial mammals were captured using snap traps laid in lines. In total, 200 individuals of common shrew were trapped. Relative abundance among different habitats was statistically evaluated. The highest relative abundance was found in mountain forest clearings (n = 132, rA = 0.719). Lower abundance was in upland forest clearings (n = 15, rA = 0.384), in mature mountain forests (n = 32, rA = 0.355), and in the lowland forest clearings (n = 9, rA = 0.109). The lowest abundance was in mature upland forests (n = 9, rA = 0.031) and in mature lowland forests (n = 3, rA = 0.011). Differences between sites were statistically significant. Among all altitudes, shrew populations in plantations were significantly more numerous than those in mature forests. Mountain forest clearings with dense herb layer proved to be the most suitable habitat while mature lowland forests with less developed herbaceous layer were the least suitable. Forest clearings proved to be an important refuge for the populations of common shrew.


This study was supported by the project of Internal Grant Agency of the Faculty of Agriscience MENDELU in Brno IGA No. IP_31/2016: Influence of vertical gradient of environment on the abundance of common shrew (Sorex araneus) in relation to landscape management.


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