Consumption of Shrews, Sorex spp., by Arctic Grayling, Thymallus arcticus
Keywords:Arctic Grayling, Thymallus arcticus, diet, salmon-derived nutrients, shrews, Sorex spp., stable isotopes
AbstractIn an investigation of the dietary habits of Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) we found that two individuals out of 93 sampled in southwestern Alaska (approximately 59°N, 159°W) contained a total of five shrews (Sorex spp.). These shrews contained enriched levels of nitrogen stable isotopes, suggesting utilization of nutrients derived from salmon. We hypothesize that normally terrestrial shrews accidentally enter streams while foraging along the productive riparian zones of creeks with high densities of salmon. Shrews are apparently susceptible to opportunistic predation by resident stream fishes, including Arctic Grayling, when they enter the streams.
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