New trapping method to survey for presence of the Etruscan shrew Suncus etruscus, the smallest mammal



The presence of the Etruscan shrew Suncus etruscus is hard to prove where its predator, the barn owl Tyto alba, is absent, because most live traps are not triggered by it. I therefore developed a new trapping method involving a feeding period of 1 week followed by one night of trapping using modified Trip Trap traps. I show here in detail how I caught four Etruscan shrews in 2010 with 24 traps in the Valley of Dora Baltea (Piemonte, Italy). In 2011, another 11 Etruscan shrews were caught in Piemonte and Lombardia, Italy, and Ticino, Switzerland. The proposed new method is useful for establishing the presence of the species.