Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1987

Publication Title

Virginia Journal of Science








The Dismal Swamp southeastern shrew, Sorex longirostris fisheri, was given "Threatened" status by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1986 because of its limited distribution and the potential threat of interbreeding with the nearby upland subspecies, Sorex l. longirostris. Known from about 20 specimens collected before 1980 and a few dozen taken since then, "fisheri" seems to have morphologically diverged from the smaller upland "longirostris" in association with the development of the Dismal Swamp. The detection of southeastern shrews that are intermediate in size between the two subspecies, coupled with the location of these collection sites on the margins of the Dismal Swamp, suggests that the two subspecies might be interbreeding. If the drying trend now occurring in the Dismal Swamp continues, the possibility exists that the upland form could invade all habitats in the Dismal Swamp, interbreeding with "fisheri" as it does. If this were to happen, the less common "fisheri" would face the real possibility of extinction by having its genome genetically swamped by the numerically dominant "longirostris".


This reference was downloaded from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, which hosts volumes of the Virginia Journal of Science (VJS) earlier than Volume 50, 1999. ODU Digital Commons hosts VJS volumes 50 through the present, available here:


Article is open access under a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA) license (

Original Publication Citation

Rose, R. K., Everton, R. K., & Padgett, T. M. (1987). Distribution and current status of the threatened Dismal Swamp southeastern shrew, Sorex longirostris fisheri. Virginia Journal of Science, 38(4), 358-363.


0000-0001-9341-1615 (Rose)