We examined the temporal variation in capture rates of shrews Notiosorex crawfordi (Coues, 1877) and Sorex ornatus (Merriam, 1895) in 20 sites representing fragmented and continuous habitats in southern California, USA. In N. crawfordi, the temporal variation was significantly correlated with the mean capture rates. Of the 6 landscape variables analyzed (size of the landscape, size of the sample area, altitude, edge, longitude and latitude), sample area was positively correlated with variation in capture rates of N. crawfordi. In S. ornatus, longitude was negatively correlated with variation in capture rates. Analysis of the effect of precipitation on the short- and long-term capture rates at 2 of the sites showed no correlation between rainfall and capture rates of shrews even though peak number of shrews at both sites were reached during the year of highest amount of rainfall. A key problem confounding capture rates of shrews in southern California is the low overall abundance of both shrew species in all habitats and seasons.
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Factors influencing the variation in capture rates of shrews in southern California, USA