The Pacific Water Shrew, Sorex bendirii, is a semiaquatic riparian habitat specialist whose range in Canada is limited to approximately 5700 km2 in the highly urbanized landscape of the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley of British Columbia (B.C.). This mammal was designated as Endangered by COSEWIC in 2006. Increasing urbanization and associated effects such as road-building and pollution, forestry on Crown land, and agricultural activities are reducing the amount of suitable habitat available for the Pacific Water Shrew. Habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation from urban development, forestry, and agriculture are the primary threats to the species in Canada. Additional potential threats include aquatic pollution, mortality due to domestic cats, research mortality, and flooding. The overall goal for recovery of the Pacific Water Shrew in B.C. is to halt the decline of Pacific Water Shrew and ensure a self-sustaining population within secure habitat throughout its current and historical range in Canada, where habitat still exists or can be restored (achieved within 10 years). Widespread habitat degradation within the Canadian range of the species suggests that current habitat capability is much lower than historical levels. Some areas within the historical range of the species have been modified to the extent that rehabilitation of the habitat may not be possible. Critical habitat under the federal Species at Risk Act is not proposed for identification in this document. The recovery team recommends the protection of occupied habitat currently known to be around 19 recent occurrences of the Pacific Water Shrew. Additional habitat areas, to be proposed for protection in the forthcoming action plan, will also be needed to support the recovery of this species. Given that the Pacific Water Shrew occurs predominantly on private lands, stewardship efforts (involving the voluntary cooperation of landowners) will be important to their conservation and recovery.
Pacific Water Shrew Recovery Team. 2009. Recovery Strategy for the Pacific Water Shrew (Sorex bendirii) in British Columbia. Ministry of Environment. Recovery Plan
Topic: Recovery Planning
Keywords: SARA, COSEWIC, bc, critical habitat, habitat loss, current range, species at risk, species recovery
Scientific Name: Sorex bendirii
English Name: Pacific Water Shrew
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