Water Vole (Arvicola amphibious)

photocredit_Darin_Smith
Water Vole © Darin Smith

About

The water vole is a small rodent that lives along the wetlands and waterways in the UK. The water voles live in burrows in the side of river banks with an entrance down to the water’s edge and one up on the bank in order for it to escape predators.


Diet

The water vole family is mainly herbivorous and will consume most species of waterside vegetation. These feeding stations are easily identified as the stems of eaten grass are cut at a 45º angle.


How to identify/track?

Water voles are a much larger species compared to other vole species and can be distinguished from the larger brown rat with its chestnut brown fur and small rounded ears that don’t protrude from the fur.


Did you know?

  • When being chased by predators, voles will kick up mud to hide.
  • The population declines when American Mink are present.
  • In Europe, water voles can live underground away from water.
  • Water vole droppings are not scented so they must rub their scent glands together to identify territory.

Reserves where they are present

SWINDON LAGOONSJONES'S MILLSMALLBROOK MEADOWSCONIGRE MEADLOWER MOOR FARMRUSHEY PLATTLANGFORD LAKESNADDER ISLAND


Others in the Mammal Family

American MinkBadgerBank VoleBrown HareGrey SquirrelHazel DormouseHedgehogHouse MouseOtterRabbitRed FoxStoatWeaselWild Boar