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BC Conservation Data Centre: Species Summary

Sorex trowbridgii
Trowbridge's Shrew

Scientific Name: Sorex trowbridgii Baird, 1858
English Name: Trowbridge's Shrew
Classification / Taxonomy
Scientific Name - Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at:
Classification Level: Species
Species Group: Vertebrate Animal
Species Code: M-SOTR
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Eulipotyphla Soricidae
Conservation Status / Legal Designation
Global Status: G5 (Apr 2016)
Provincial Status: S3 (Feb 2015)
BC List: Blue
Provincial FRPA list:   
Provincial Wildlife Act:
SARA Schedule:
General Status Canada: 3 - Sensitive (2005)
Ecology & Life History
General Description:
Global Reproduction Comments: Pregnant females recorded March-May in Washington; 3-4 embryos. Breeds February-early June in Sierra Nevada; average of 5 embryos; post-partum pregnancy probably common. Average of 3.9 embryos in Oregon. Age of sexual maturity less in areas with warmer climate.
Global Ecology Comments: Maximum life-span estimated at about 18 months. Populations decline after forest wildfires. Fall population tends to be about double spring population (George 1989).
Migration Characteristics:
(Global / Provincial)
    Local Migrant:
    Distant Migrant:
    Within Borders Migrant:
Y /
N /
N /
na /
(Type / Subtype / Dependence)
Forest / Conifer Forest - Mesic (average) / Unknown
Forest / Conifer Forest - Moist/wet / Unknown
Forest / Mixed Forest (deciduous/coniferous mix) / Facultative - frequent use
Riparian / Riparian Forest / Facultative - frequent use
Global Habitat Comments: Mature forest (dry or moist) with abundant ground litter; forested canyons and ravines, and swampy woods; deep rank grass near salmonberry thickets (Destructioin Island off Washington); riparian fringe areas (but not streamside); under chaparral (at southern edge of range); cut forest if sufficient ground cover present (George, in Wilson and Ruff 1999; George 1989).
Food Habits: Invertivore: Adult, Immature
Global Food Habits Comments: Primarily insectivorous, also feeds on spiders, worms, and centipedes. Feeds on more vegetable matter than other shrews in this genus (Banfield 1974). Known to feed on seeds of Douglas-fir, pine, and other plants, especially in winter.
Global Phenology: Circadian: Adult, Immature
Global Phenology Comments: Active throughout the year.
Provincial Phenology:
(1st half of month/
2nd half of month)
Colonial Breeder: N
Length(cm)/width(cm)/Weight(g): 13/ / 9
Elevation (m) (min / max): Global: 
Endemic: N
Global Range Comment: Coastal southwestern British Columbia south of Burrard Inlet south through western Washington and Oregon to northwestern California, south through coast ranges to Santa Barbara County, east to Warner Mountains (northeastern California), south through Sierra Nevada to Kern County, California (George 1989). Sea level to 1820 m.
Authors / Contributors
Global Information Author:
Last Updated: Dec 08, 1989
Provincial Information Author:
Last Updated:
References and Related Literature
Banfield, A. W. F. 1974. The mammals of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada. 438 pp.
Carraway, L. N. 1995. A key to Recent Soricidae of the western United States and Canada based primarily on dentaries. Occasional Papers of the Natural History Museum, University of Kansas (175):1-49.
Churchfield, S. 1992. The Natural History of Shrews. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York. 192 pp.
George, S. B. 1988. Systematics, historical biogeography, and evolution of the genus Sorex. J. Mammalogy 69:443-461.
George, S. B. 1989. SOREX TROWBRIDGII. Am. Soc. Mamm., Mammalian Species No. 337:1-5.
Jackson, H.H. 1928. A taxonomic review of the North Americanlong tailed shrews (genera Sorex and Microsorex). N. Amer. Fauna. 51:1-238.
Nagorsen, D.W. 1996. Opossums, Shrews and Moles of British Columbia. Royal B.C. Mus. Victoria, BC. 169pp.
van Zyll de Jong, C.G. 1983. Handbook of Canadian mammals. 1. Marsupials and insectivores. National Museum of Natural Sciences, National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, Canada. 210 pp.
Zuleta, G.A., and C. Galindo-Leal. 1994. Distribution and abundance of four species of small mammals at risk in a fragmented landscape. B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, Wildl. Branch. Working Rep. WR-64. Victoria, British Columbia. 80pp.

Please visit the website Conservation Status Ranks for definitions of the data fields used in this summary report.

Suggested Citation:

B.C. Conservation Data Centre. 1989. Species Summary: Sorex trowbridgii. B.C. Minist. of Environment. Available: (accessed Mar 5, 2024).