Shrew sp in the Andamans.

I recently visited the Andamans ( South island, the one with Port Blair  on it) and was  fortunate to see and photograph a  Shrew. There are two possibilities on this island…the Andamans Shrew  and  Jenkin’s Shrew…both  critically  endangered and  both poorly  known. They occur sympatrically on Mt. Harriet but I saw  my specimen in a  tract of natural lowland forest and I’m unclear as to which specie(s) occur there, I have attached some photographs…has anyone  got any suggestions as to identification or  who might be familiar with these animals? Thanks in advance.

 John Hopkins (U.K.)ImageImageImageImage

  1. Vladimir Dinets 9 years ago

    I think the best way to figure it out would be to look up the original papers describing these two species.

  2. Author
    John Hopkins 9 years ago

    I have tried that but failed miserably! I located a 1999 paper by an observer who collected both species but cannot find it on-line ( at least not without joining a subscription site). The bibliography on the IUCN Redlist site mentions no earlier papers so I think this is a job for an academic or someone museum-based…all very frustrating !

    • Vladimir Dinets 9 years ago

      What is the name of the paper? I might have access through our university library. Also, online version of Mammals of the World should have references to species descriptions.

      • Author
        johnhopkins77 9 years ago

        That would be great if you could. The paper is……

        Das, I. 1999. A noteworthy collection of mammals from Mount Harriet, Andaman Islands, India. Journal of South Asian Natural History 4(2): 181-185.

        The paper cited by the on-line Mammal Species of the World is…

        Miller, G. S., Jr. 1902. The mammals of the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Proceedings of the United
        States National Museum, 24:751-795.

        That would also be useful if you could get hold of it.
        Many thanks, John

  3. Vladimir Dinets 9 years ago

    Our library doesn’t have JSANH. It is available for free from here: but the issue you need is missing. I think you can email them and ask for the paper.
    For PUSNM, I’ll check in the library next Friday.

    • vdinets 9 years ago

      We don’t have the other one either, sorry.

      • Author
        johnhopkins77 9 years ago

        Thanks for your reply… no problem, you have been very helpful..I managed to get a copy of the JSANH paper which helped a bit. On the basic of fur colour I think that it was probably Andamans Shrew…but the paper high-lighted how little information and how few photographs there are of these shrews.

  4. Ben 9 years ago

    I obtained a pdf of the 1902 PUSNM article from my university’s library. Email me at, and I’ll send it to you.

  5. […] of you might remember this post from John Hopkins about a likely uber rare shrew he spotted on South Andaman island. Well John and I have been trying […]

  6. Author


    My continued correspondence with ( well, pestering of !) various people has finally borne fruit. I recently received the following email ……..

    Here attached the opinion of Kris Helgen (mammal curator of Smithsonian Museum Washington DC)

    With my best wishes and many thanks


    Sorry for the delay! I was unable to access the museum, my office, or my email during the government shutdown.

    As for the shrew, very hard to say given the few specimens and likely quite incomplete knowledge of the shrew fauna of the Andamans that is so far accrued. But my strongest guess matches your correspondent’s—it looks to me, on the basis of fur and tail length, to be a young Crocidura andamanensis, a skin of which I just looked at here it the collection (which is an older and browner animal, but with soft fur and a short tail). So we cannot be sure, but I would say this is most likely C. andamanensis (if it is a known species).

    Best wishes,

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