, Microtus richardsoni is also known as Richardson's water vole, Richardson vole, Richardson's meadow vole, Richardson meadow mouse, water rat, big-footed mouse, giant water vole, and water vole.. Water voles are the largest of the British voles, weighing up to 350g and being 14-22cm long (not including the tail) They have a short, rounded body, blunt muzzle and small ears that are often almost entirely hidden in their thick fur Their tails are about 2/3 of … Genetic tests have been done that suggest that the closest relative to Microtus richardsoni is Microtus pennsylvanicus (the meadow vole). Journal of Mammalogy, 69(3), 532-541. Mother feeds them by lactation until they are 21 days old, and they nest together for approximately 32 days, during which time the pups are growing about 1.24 grams per day. Males tend to be larger than females. Adult Water voles weigh from 6 – 12 ounces (160 – 350 grams), juveniles weigh less but must reach around 5 – 6 ounces (140 – 170 grams) to be able to survive their first winter. Water voles have unusually large hind feet, ranging between 25 and 34 mm in length, which can help distinguish the water vole from other similar rodents, and contribute to its speed in the water. About The field vole (also known as the short-tailed vole) is very common in grassland, heathland and moorland habitats. Ludwig, D. (1984, November 14). They have a rich chestnut-brown coat, but individuals in Scotland often have black fur. Water voles breed for 3 months during the summer, and young are born from June until late September. Their burrows often have entrances at the water's edge or under water, and they usually live in colonies of 8-40 individuals along the waterway. Although this animal has been historically considered a member of genus Arvicola, molecular evidence demonstrates that it is more closely related to North American Microtus species. Studies have shown that water voles have a very high metabolic rate, and therefore don't have to consume as much food as other rodents their size. Water voles are blind when they are born and usually leave the nest after four months. Microgeographic variation in allozymes and mitochondrial DNA of Microtus richardsoni, the water vole, in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana and Wyoming, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 79(7), 1286-1295. - AWBH0C from Alamy's library of millions of high … Often tunnel or burrow entrances are found either at water level or submerged along the river banks. Image credit: Peter Trimming. (2014, March 25). Common. Whilst it may resemble a rat (even being dubbed the “water rat” or “ratty”), the water vole has fur on its tail, paws and ears, and has a rounder nose than its distant cousin. Their tracks are easy to identify – the forefeet have four toes, while the hindfeet have five. It has grayish brown fur and gray under-parts washed with white or silver. Bank vole (Myodes glareolus) Bank vole much smaller than water vole with head and body length of 9-11cm compared to 14-22cm. Their food source varies significantly depending on geographic location. Litter size tends to increase with age of the mother, and ranges from 2-10 young. Water voles are most active at night, and they travel between tunnels, nests and waterways by means of surface runways 5–7 cm wide through the vegetation. They feed on grasses, leaves, roots and seeds, also eating small invertebrates.  Water voles reach 5 – 9 inches in length (120 – 235 millimetres) plus a tail of 55% – 70% of this.  Among overwintered adults, 90% of females and 100% of males are reproductively active. It is often confused with the brown rat, which is slightly larger and has a pointed nose and a shorter, pink, hairless tail. This is due to heavily pregnant females not venturing far from the burrows and simply popping their heads out and grazing around the edge of the burrow. Water voles dig burrows that are connected to water sources, and are considered a semi-aquatic species. Skip to Main Content. You can either mix several minced garlic cloves into water to create a spray solution, or drop crushed cloves near your vegetation and vole runways. Some adult females may have up to two litters during one breeding season.    Although water voles appear to have the ability to reproduce in large numbers, as do many other rodents, their population densities are actually kept very low and live in colonies of 8-40 individuals. A field voles weight can vary greatly from 14 – 50 grams. Another sign of the water vole is a area near the burrow which has been very close cropped (You could practice your putting) on top of a bank. They have a short tail, which is covered in a number of small hairs, and long claws on each of their feet which are primarily used for excavating burrows. Water voles are sometimes mistaken for rats and even called water rats. Conservation status. The Field Vole has a head and body length of 8 – 13 centimetres, its tail is around one third of its body length. Known colloquially as water rats or water dogs, they swim similarly to the latter, with their backs and heads visible above water as they pootle along the river. , Water voles are usually found within 5 to 10 m from waterways. They have short ears and a long tail. On average these animals are about 20–27 cm in total length (including the tail), with tails 6–10 cm long, and weigh 125-178 grams. Ammonia Instead of simply pouring ammonia around runways, a more effective method is to use a container with a lid and a rag. They are much bigger than other voles but smaller than brown rats. The distribution of habitats is found to be extremely variable, due to the geographical barriers of large coniferous forests, mountains, and expansive valleys without readily available waterways.
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