Voles

“Bank vole” by Original by Soebe, edited by Fashionslide – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Voles, also called meadow mice or field mice, are rodents with small eyes and partially hidden ears. Their underfur is generally dense and covered with thicker, longer guard hairs. There are 23 species of voles in the U.S., including the prairie vole, meadow vole, long-tailed vole, woodland vole, Oregon vole and California vole.

Habits

Voles are active day and night, year-round. They do not hibernate. Voles eat plants, especially grasses and seeds, as well as bark, crops, insects and animal remains. Voles can have between one and five litters per year, with an average of five young in each litter. Vole population levels fluctuate and generally peak every two to five years. Dispersal, food quality, climate, and physiological stress all influence population levels.

Habitat

Voles construct tunnels with numerous burrows entrances. A single burrow system may contain several adults and young.

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