We conducted a trapping survey of small mammals along an elevational gradient in the La Sal Mountains and documented 4 species of shrews (Sorex), the largest number inhabiting any mountain range in Utah. Sorex palustris was restricted to very moist microhabitats near open water at mid- to high elevations where it was relatively common. Occurring in nearly all habitats across the entire sampling gradient, S. monticolus was the numerically dominant small mammal at many sites. Sorex nanus, a new record for the La Sals, was found in areas of rockfall at high elevations and in a rocky wash at mid-elevation. Sorex cinereus, a new record for southeastern Utah, was recorded at a single high-elevation locality. Most localities had 2 syntopic species of shrews, and at 1 site in and around a rockslide we recorded all 4 species. Despite their current isolation, the La Sal Mountains support a remarkably diverse shrew fauna. Their proximity to the main southern Rocky Mountains as a rich faunal source and the presence of abundant rockfall microhabitat appear to be important causal factors.
Rickart, Eric A. and Heaney, Lawrence R.
"Shrews of the La Sal Mountains, southeastern Utah,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 61:
1, Article 13.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol61/iss1/13