Ten water vole facts

Here are some fascinating facts about water voles:

  • Water vole populations have fallen by 90% since 1970.
  • Before 2000, mink regularly escaped or were released from Britain’s fur farms and water voles became the minks’ favoured prey. Nowadays, the main threat to the voles is the drainage of natural wetlands and the agricultural and urban development of river banks.
  • Water voles eat over 200 different species of plant; reeds, horsetail and sedges are some of their favourite snacks.
  • They also eat the bark of willow, hawthorn, and crab apple trees; they have been spotted as high as 2.5 metres up a tree.
  • They have to eat 80% of their body weight (60 -360g) a day to survive.
  • Water voles dig with their teeth which are coated with hard orange enamel.
  • Overwinter, water voles go underground and maintain energy levels by sleeping more. They plug some of their burrow entrances with a mixture of mud and vegetation to help keep heat in and they create chambers for food scraps and excrement that will compost and generate heat. Central heating!
  • In the winter they dig up and store tubers, bulbs and rhizomes. One farmer uncovered a hundredweight of potatoes cached in a ditch by water voles.
  • Water voles usually live a maximum of two winters.
  • They can raise two litters each year with up to five offspring in each brood.

More fascinating facts here:

2 thoughts on “Ten water vole facts

Add yours

  1. Sorry I missed the Woodpigeon post! I just wanted to say, we have them nesting in our garden and after a while you can tell when one pigeon sitting on the nest is asking to be relieved and when it is eventually answered.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: