British Columbia has the greatest diversity of insectivores (shrews
and moles) of any Canadian province: twelve species. In some habitats,
insectivores are the dominant mammals. British Columbia's only
marsupial, the North American opossum, was brought here by humans from
eastern North America. But humans rarely see any of these mammals,
except for the occasional shrew brought in by the family cats or
molehills observed in gardens or on golf courses. Even naturalists are
largely unfamiliar with them.
In Opossums, Shrews, and Moles of British Columbia, David
W. Nagorsen presents a comprehensive summary of the most up-to-date
information on these intriguing mammals. He provides general
information on their biology, including ecology, diets, anatomy,
relations with humans, and conservation. Illustrated keys aid in
identification. In detailed species accounts, the author gives
descriptions of each species, along with their identifying
characteristics, natural history and taxonomy. Each account is
accompanied by illustrations and a provincial range map.
David W. Nagorsen is Curator of Mammals at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, B.C., and the author, with R. Mark Brigham, of Bats of British Columbia.
Preface General Biology of Opossums General Biology of Insectivores Introduction 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 Conservation Studying Insectivores Taxonomy and Nomenclature Checklist 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 British Columbian Insectivores Appendix 2: Scientific Names of Plant and Animal Species Mentioned in this Book Glossary References Acknowledgements Index