IUCN: NT; Be (III); RDBUkr: Рідкісні
Value of species
The Alpine shrew is endemic to Europe, where it has a disjunct range in the Alps, the Balkans, the Carpathians, and a number of isolated mountains in Germany, Czech Republic and Poland (Spitzenberger 1999, Meinig 2004). It previously occurred in the Pyrenees, where it is thought to have gone extinct in the early 20th century, and in the Harz (Spitzenberger 1999). Its vertical range is from 200 to 2,500 m (Spitzenberger 1999).
More data are needed to be able to determine population trends. It is widespread but local in the Alps, where populations are thought to be stable. Small, isolated populations at the edge of the species' range may be declining, and there have been subpopulation extinctions (for example in the Pyrenees). In the Harz, the northernmost population in Europe, it appears to have disappeared (last record was in 1954 despite intensive studies to find the species there). It is still present in Germany. Some of the other remaining populations are considered evolutionarily significant units because of their long period of isolation (Meinig 2004).
In the mountains, it tends to be found in open habitats (meadows, rocky areas with sparse vegetation, and banks of mountain streams), where it lives in cracks and crevices under rocks and in stone walls. At lower altitudes, it prefers cool, damp, shaded areas, such as densely-vegetated ravines and holes under mossy rocks, tree-roots and logs in forests (Spitzenberger 1990, 1999). It mainly feeds on arthropods and molluscs (Spitzenberger 1990).
A major part of the alpine shrew's range in the Carpathians is covered by the Carpathians Reserve (about 45,000 ha) and National Park (about 70,000 ha). There is a need for monitoring, particularly of isolated subpopulations.
- Сеник А. Ф. Бурозубка альпийская Украинских Карпат // Вісник зоології. – 1967. – №4. – С.58-64.