Habitat Parameters and Small Mammal Associations of the Gaspe Shrew, Sorex gaspensis, in the Eastern Gaspé Peninsula, Québec


  • Christian Fortin Foramec, 5955 rue Saint-Laurent, Levis, Québec G6V 3P5
  • Denis Comeau Forillon National Park of Canada, 122 boulevard Gaspé, Gaspé, Québec G4X 1A9




Gaspé Shrew, Sorex gaspensis, habitat, small mammals, Québec


The Gaspé Shrew (Sorex gaspensis) is one of the rarest of Canadian small mammals. Consequently, little is known about its habitat preferences. This paper documents habitat parameters and small mammal species associated with the capture of nine specimens in the Gaspé Peninsula, Québec. Small mammals were collected using both pitfall traps and Victor snap traps at 22 sites during August and September 2005. A total of 571 small mammals representing 12 species was captured during 5637 trap nights. S. gaspensis specimens were trapped at sites located on hilly, rocky habitats. Microhabitat was cool and moist in all cases. Slope was always over 15 degrees and altitude ranged from 29 to 240 meters. Estimated percent of moss ground cover exceeded 50% in seven of the nine capture sites. Six S. gaspensis were trapped near running water while the others were captured far from streams. Overall, ten species of small mammals were captured in the same sites of S. gaspensis. Smoky Shrew (Sorex fumeus) was by far the most strongly associated species.