- Sorex fodiens Pennant, 1771
Eurasian Water Shrew, Northern Water Shrew, Water Shrew
Value of species
Neomys fodiens fodiens (Pennant, 1771)
Neomys fodiens niethammeri Buhler, 1963
The water shrew has a large range extending from the British Islands eastwards to Lake Baikal, Yenisei River (Russia), Tien Shan (China), and northwest Mongolia. In the Mediterranean is ranges from northern Spain eastwards to Bulgaria.In Europe it is generally widespread throughout, with the exception of southern Iberia. It occurs only sporadically on the Balkan peninsula, where it is largely restricted to the mountains. It occurs from sea level to over 2,500 m (Stone 1995). The distribution of the species recently expanded southwards in Italy owing to a new record in the Sila massif (Aloise et al. 2005).
It is a widespread species, although local population declines may be caused by wetland drainage, pollution, and destruction of riverbanks. Population densities fluctuate from year to year (Spitzenberger 1999). In the northern part of its range and in the steppe zone, the species has a patchy distribution.
This species is semi-aquatic with water repelling fur. It occurs in a wide variety of wetland habitats, both freshwater and coastal, including lakes, rivers, streams, marshes, bogs, damp grasslands, humid woodlands, sea shores and intertidal wetlands. It is the most aquatic of all European shrews. It hunts on land and in water for invertebrates, including crustaceans, and occasionally takes small fish and amphibia (Sokolov and Orlov 1980, Spitzenberger 1999, Smith and Xie in press). It paralyses large prey with its venomous saliva (Stone 1995, Smith and Xie in press). It is highly territorial, with males only moving out of territory during the breeding season.
- Татаринов К. А. Звірі західних областей України (матеріали до вивчення фауни Української РСР). - Київ: Вид-во АН УРСР, 1956. - 188 с.