The social structure of water voles was polygamous (promiscuous), as found in many other voles [9, 20, 41].  The rarely checked invasive population of American mink has reportedly caused a decline of water voles in Britain.. As per the Water Vole Conservation Handbook, the fencing was buried to a minimum depth of 700 mm, and in most cases deeper. 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. Soft soils are preferred. In years of that are wetter than usual it has been observed that young water voles become reproductively active sooner, and therefore can have more offspring. (2014, March 25). Ryland, K. and Kemp, B (2009). A guide to water vole ecology and field signs Since April 6th, 2008, it has been illegal to trap, harm, kill, injure or disturb water voles Arvicola ... locate surviving populations and inform projects to restore them to their historic range. Retrieved March 20, 2015, from, Vole. Underparts are paler, ranging from … It has also been found that grazing affects the water vole populations as well. Elsewhere, the mean body mass has been reported as 60 to 140 g (2.1 to 4.9 oz), although this figure includes immature water voles. Reproduction and population dynamics of the water vole, Microtus richardsoni. For the southern water vole (Arvicola sapidus) home ranges up to 2858 m² have been reported . [clarification needed] Approximately 62 species are now considered to be in the genus Microtus. , Overall, European water voles are a uniform dark brown colour, with slightly paler coloration on the underside. European water voles are found in most of Europe, Russia, West Asia, and Kazakhstan. Assuming that the minimum home range size for a water vole is 75 m , this equates to a maximum supportable population of 184 animals in the Windrush study area, or approximately nine animals per km of river. Strachan, R. and Moorhouse, T. (2006). By day 10 they are running and climbing, and by day 17 they are swimming on their own.  Although, genetic data has been collected that suggests water voles do have the ability to disperse over land to reproduce with other populations, this overland dispersal between colonies tends to be higher with adjacent populations, and less so with increased distance. 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. They construct these tunnels and nests just below the roots of the vegetation (about 4–6 cm below ground) during the breeding season (June through late September). Because of this system, males travel over a much larger home range than females, and they tend to be more aggressive than females, with aggressiveness coinciding with breeding patterns. Klaus, M., Moore, R., & Vyse, E. (2001, July). It is occasionally called a water rat, but unlike a rat it has a furry tail, rounded ears, a blunt face and a vegetarian diet. Some estimates now place the population decline of water voles at 90%. Areas of heavily grazed and trampled riparian habitats are generally avoided. The rolls protect against erosion and at the same time provide food and shelter for the animals … Up to 8 baby voles can be born, each weighing around 10 grams (0.4 oz). During the winter they are seen to dig tunnels through the snow, and usually do not surface above the snow once 6 cm have accumulated (approx. The binomial applied to the water vole is Arvicola amphibius, it was formerly known by the junior synonym A. terrestris. Introduction The water vole (Arvicola terrestris) is the largest species of vole in the UK. They deposit distinctive black, shiny faeces in latrines. Morand, S., & Poulin, R. (1998). To increase the population density of the water vole within the National Park. Water voles breed for 3 months during the summer, and young are born from June until late September. The best sites support a continuous swathe of … The relationship between home range and reproductive status of water voles (Arvicola amphibius) was studied by radio-tracking on an island off the coast of northern Norway in 2006–2009. Retrieved March 21, 2015, from JSTOR. Most water voles only live through one winter, and die at the end of the second breeding season. Breeding females have territories of 30-150m and fiercely defend them, while males having larger home ranges of 60-300m that overlap several females. Their pelage is quite thick and they are furred over their entire body, including their tail, unlike rats. The water vole (Microtus richardsoni) is the largest North American vole. As well as frequenting typical lowland wetland habitats dominated by rank marginal aquatic vegetation, water voles are also just as at home in areas upland 'peatland' vegetation where they utilize suitable small ditches, rivers, and lochs surrounded by moorland up to 1000 m asl (e.g. Water voles prefer lush riparian vegetation which provides important cover to conceal animals when they are above ground. So far the research has led to a range of recommendations including : Locally: Improve habitat networks and connectivity around key water vole populations. 5-6 young, with a minimum gestation period of 22 days. 7 to 8 months of the year). Ideally around 3 metres wide and 1 metre deep. It is also possible that there were influences from Swedish vall, which translates to mean field. This animal has been historically considered a member of genus Arvicola, but molecular evidence demonstrates that it is more closely related to North American Microtus species. However, they do not appear to survive well in more extreme environments such as the highlands of northern Scotland, or the hotter regions of southern France.