Lutra 57(1)_Van Boekel_2014

Damage to Longworth live-traps by shrews

New Longworth live-traps were used for monitoring the small mammal population in the Dutch De Onlanden Nature Reserve. In the last two years of this monitoring programme large numbers of common shrews (Sorex araneus) and water shrews (Neomys fodiens) were captured. It was found that these shrews caused extensive damage to the trap doors and to the hole in the side-wall of the tunnel-part of the traps. The damage was the result of shrews gnawing at the metal. Both shrew species caused such damage, although the larger water shrew most likely caused more damage than the common shrew. The lifespan of Longworth live-traps is greatly reduced when used in field situations with high shrew densities.