Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shrews May Predict Environmental Degradation, Says University Of Toronto Researcher

Date:
January 28, 1998
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
A professor of forestry at the university believes shrews may be an important indicator of environmental health or sickness in certain African countries.

Shrews may be an important indicator of environmental health or sickness in certain African countries, says a professor in the Faculty of Forestry.

Professor Justina Ray, a carnivore biologist, believes the shrew -- a small, mouse-like insectivore -- may deliver environmental warning signs. "A shrew is somewhat like a canary in a coal mine. When the canary dies, watch out."

The many different species of shrew live in different habitats but they share a common denominator -- all shrews exist in very small areas that must sustain them for their entire lives. Certain species, Ray says, are particularly susceptible to environmental change making them a highly sensitive ecosystem indicator.

Ray says there are more questions than answers when it comes to these shy creatures. What is especially perplexing is the way in which 16 different species of shrew in the Central African Republic are able to survive in micro-territories. "It's unrivalled throughout the world to find that many shrews in a tiny site like that. When you consider that there are only 17 species of shrews in all of Europe, the fact that we found 16 species in a 35- square kilometre area is amazing." Ray also believes the shrews may hold some clues to the evolutionary history of Africa and an understanding of the immense biodiversity of the continent's rainforest.

CONTACT: Professor Justina Ray, Faculty of Forestry, (416) 946-3121, e-mail: jcray@larva.forestry.utoronto.ca

Michah Rynor, U of T public affairs, (416) 978-2104, e-mail: michah.rynor@utoronto.ca


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "Shrews May Predict Environmental Degradation, Says University Of Toronto Researcher." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/01/980128161843.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (1998, January 28). Shrews May Predict Environmental Degradation, Says University Of Toronto Researcher. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/01/980128161843.htm
University Of Toronto. "Shrews May Predict Environmental Degradation, Says University Of Toronto Researcher." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/01/980128161843.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins