Opossums, Shrews and Moles of British Columbia
170 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Release Date:12 Jun 1996

Opossums, Shrews and Moles of British Columbia

SERIES: RBCM Handbooks
UBC Press

British Columbia has the greatest diversity of insectivores (shrewsand moles) of any Canadian province: twelve species. In some habitats,insectivores are the dominant mammals. British Columbia's onlymarsupial, the North American opossum, was brought here by humans fromeastern North America. But humans rarely see any of these mammals,except for the occasional shrew brought in by the family cats ormolehills observed in gardens or on golf courses. Even naturalists arelargely unfamiliar with them.

In Opossums, Shrews, and Moles of British Columbia, DavidW. Nagorsen presents a comprehensive summary of the most up-to-dateinformation on these intriguing mammals. He provides generalinformation on their biology, including ecology, diets, anatomy,relations with humans, and conservation. Illustrated keys aid inidentification. In detailed species accounts, the author givesdescriptions of each species, along with their identifyingcharacteristics, natural history and taxonomy. Each account isaccompanied by illustrations and a provincial range map.

David W. Nagorsen is Curator of Mammals at the RoyalBritish Columbia Museum in Victoria, B.C., and the author, with R. MarkBrigham, of Bats of British Columbia.


General Biology of Opossums

General Biology of Insectivores



Form and Structure

Food Habits Insectivores in British Columbia

Habitat and Community Ecology

Reproduction, Development of the Young and Longevity

Conserving Energy and Winter Survival

Relations with Humans


Studying Insectivores Taxonomy and Nomenclature




Identification Keys

Key to Whole Animals

Key to Skulls


Species Accounts

North American Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)

Black-backed Shrew (Sorex arcticus)

Pacific Water Shrew (Sorex Bendirii)

Common Shrew (Sorex cinereus)

Pygmy Shrew (Sorex hoyi)

Dusky Shrew (Sorex monticolus)

Water Shrew (Sorex palustris)

Trowbridge's Shrew (Sorex trowbridgii)

Tundra Shrew (Sorex tundrensis)

Vagrant Shrew (Sorex vagrans)

Shrew-mole (Neurotrichus gibbsii)

Coast Mole (Scapanus orarius)

Townsend's Mole (Scapanus townsendii)

Appendix 1: Selected Body Measurements and Weights of BritishColumbian Insectivores

Appendix 2: Scientific Names of Plant and Animal Species Mentionedin this Book





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