A white-toothed shrew found only in the Dhofar region and in parts of neighbouring Yemen has been recorded for the first time in Jebel Samhan in Dhofar governorate.
According the Office for Conservation of Environment (OCE) at the Diwan of Royal Court, represented by the Department of Environmental Affairs in Salalah, the sighting of Dhofar shrew (Crocidura dhofarensis) in Jebel Samhan is important as till now the species was spotted in only four other sites in Dhfoar which are affected by annual khareef (monsoon) rains.
“This is first the recording of a shrew outside the region impacted by the khareef,” said Dr Hadi bin Muslim al Hakmani, director of the Department of Environmental Affairs in Salalah.
He informed that not much is known about the spread of this rare mouse-like small animal and also about its life, and numbers in the wild.
“There are three types of shrews in the Governorate of Dhofar and until now all were registered in the areas affected by khareef rains.
“The species was first found in the Governorate of Dhofar in the Khadrafi area in the wilayat of Dhalkut in 1977. Recently it was monitored in three sites near the wilayat of Salalah, in addition to its presence in some areas in the Haouf region of Yemen,” Hakmani added.
He stressed that small mammals such as hedgehogs, rodents and shrews are among the important species for biodiversity.