The Pygmy Shrew
This is Ireland’s smallest land mammal and the only Shrew found here. It can be found throughout Ireland however it is rarely seen. They hide in the undergrowth. They have very poor eyesight and they hunt by smell and by touch, using well developed whiskers. The Pygmy Shrew eats its own body weight in food per day. The Pygmy Shrew can only sleep for a few hours at a time, otherwise it will starve. At this time of year the Pygmy Shrew grows a thick coat to help survive the winter. However, due to a shortage of food and the cold, many do not make it. The average life-span is about 18 months. They are preyed upon by owls, foxes and stoats. Very few people have ever seen a Pygmy Shrew and hopefully some day I might get the opportunity to see this beautiful little creature.