Their dorsal fur is dark brown with slightly paler sides. Read on to learn about the vole. Characteristics: Meadow voles, also sometimes called meadow mice or just plain “voles”, are small mammals, They have a compact and fat little body with short legs and a short furry tail, small eyes and partially hidden ears. QUICK FACTS: Voles are also often called meadow mice. Neat Facts. Similar Species: Meadow voles are more widely distributed, but prairie voles are more common in prairie areas. Status in Tennessee: Meadow voles spend most of their lives above the ground, but can also make shallow tunnels in the ground. Meadow Voles are common in their field habitat, and can be abundant in certain areas. Life History Growth and Reproduction •Meadow Voles are the most widespread vole in North America. Meadow voles have the ability to reproduce exponentially. This helps them to flee quickly from any dangers. Also, they occur in grassy marshes, orchards, road sides, and fields near streams and lakes. Meadow voles, belonging to the genus Microtus, are colored brown or gray and are mainly found in habitats with grass. Meadow voles move about by building a labyrinth of tunnels and burrows that keeps them protected from predators. These small mammals have adjusted themselves in such a way that they can eat a huge variety of foods. The meadow vole, then, is a small but significant component of our Nature Trail ecosystem. Your email address will not be published. •Meadow Voles are the most widespread vole in North America. Neonates are born hairless and pink in color with their eyes and ears closed. Belly fur has silver-tipped hairs. Though these rodents are solitary, during the breeding season they live together with other family members who are not mating. Required fields are marked *. Voles have small rounded ears that are often hidden by their fur, small eyes, and short tails. They sometimes damage garden plants, fruit trees and commercial crops. Voles are a small species of mammal that are part of the rodent family. Habitat: •Voles consume their own weight in food each day. Meadow Voles are common in their field habitat, and can be abundant in certain areas. The meadow vole is a common North American mammal that is widely distributed across this continent. Diet: The females of this species defend their territory vociferously. Two common species of voles in North America are the prairie vole and the meadow vole. •Rock Voles have yellow noses. A vole typically only lives for 3 - 6 months. In spite of the fact that they live in locations within close proximity to one another, they constantly fight with other members of the same species. It is highly active and lives in burrows dug into the ground. At the end of three days, they get their first strands of fur and by seven days, they are fully covered with fur with the exception of the belly. They may breed almost the entire year, but March through November is the peak season. They range in length from 128–195 mm including the tail, and average 44 grams in weight. © 2020 (Coniferous Forest). •Southern Red-backed Vole has a bright reddish band running along the back from head to tail. Meadow voles exhibit aggressive and antagonistic behavior among themselves, where the females dominate the males and the males fight with each other. The meadow vole is a common North American mammal that is widely distributed across this continent. The Meadow Vole is believed to have the highest reproductive rate of any mammal in the world. •When Meadow Voles are alarmed, they stamp their hind feet like rabbits. The tiny newborns are pink and hairless, but they grow very rapidly. http://www.arkive.org/meadow-vole/microtus-pennsylvanicus/, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/13452/0, http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/ Microtus_pennsylvanicus/, http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/ Microtus_pennsylvanicus/, Field Mouse, Meadow Mouse, Ground Mole, Meadow Mole, Chihuahua Vole, Florida Salt Marsh Vole and saltmarsh vole, Head and Body- 9 to 12.5 cmTail- 3.5 to 6.5 cm, Yellowish brown, reddish brown or blackish brown with grey underparts, Alaska, Canada, United States-New Mexico to Georgia and all along the East Coast, Fields, meadows, beside rivers and lakes, grassy marshes, orchards, high grasslands near water and flooded marshes, Sedges, flowers, roots, tubers, grasses, seeds, leaves, bark, bulbs and occasionally insects, Foxes, snakes, falcons, owls, hawks, coyotes, house cats and a range of many other predators. Weight: 0.75 - 2.25 ounces. Their fur is generally thick and light brown to gray. Among meadow voles, the females reach reproductive maturity at a much younger age, with some of them getting pregnant at the age of three weeks. A female meadow vole raised in captivity gave birth to 17 litters in a year. Length: 4.8 - 7.4 inches They scavenge for food, like gasses, seeds, fallen fruit, tree bark, and roots, throughout the day and night and are attracted to residential properties with gardens. They also have the ability to build runways in the middle of vegetation for the purpose of depositing food. Meadow voles are active during all times of the day but are mostly nocturnal during summer and diurnal during winter. They prefer moist, low areas of fields composed of thick grasses and sedges. The Meadow Vole, which is very similar in appearance and life history to the Prairie Vole, is found in the eastern part of Tennessee. The furred tail is slightly more than twice the length of the hind foot. Meadow voles mostly eat where they are. Research indicates that the lifespan of the meadow vole is one of the shortest among mammals. Meadow Voles are mostly vegetarians eating stems, leaves, roots, tubers, flowers, seeds, and fruits of grasses, sedges, and other plants in the area. All rights reserved. This is because the females are capable of breeding when they reach the age of 20 days. Nests, made of dry grass, can be above or below ground. Color: They have long and coarse fur that is usually blackish brown to grayish brown. These small mammals can dig and swim well. They prefer runways in open grass but stay and hide where there is a protective cover from predators such as hawks. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. This more than offsets the fall in their population due to various larger animals and birds preying on them. Fun Facts: On the other hand, males are not capable of producing sperm until the age of six to eight weeks. Gestation takes only 3 weeks and litters contain 3 to 10 pups. They will occasionally eat insects, snails, and crayfish. Ears: 0.5 - 0.6 inches Weaning occurs at 2-3 weeks and they are adult size after 3 months. Your email address will not be published. Breeding information: What are voles? In winter, the fur is darker gray. The gestation period is 21 days resulting in 1-7 (usually 3-5) young per litter. The onset of estrus triggers ovulation with the result of successful pregnancy resulting soon afterwards. Tail: 1.5 - 2.5 inches Toxoplasma gondii, Trypanosoma microti, rabies, Hantavirus, and Korean hemorrhagic fever are a few of the potential disease agents that have been detected in meadow vole individuals. The gestation period for meadow voles lasts for 20 to 23 days. Even though they are solitary by nature, they give warning signals to other members of their species by making noise with their big hind feet similar to what rabbits do. Woodland voles are burrowing animals that push up mounds of earth at the entrances to their underground tunnels. In warmer climates the breeding season can last all year round. In general, summer litters are bigger than litters in the other seasons. Facts. In spite of the fact that they live in locations within close proximity to one another, they constantly fight with other members of the same species. They […] The average litters of meadow voles have four to six young and the range varies from one to eleven pups. Published on July 16th 2015 by admin under Coniferous Forest Animals. Home Rodent Control . Females can breed when they are as young as one month old. Email Us, Board of Fisheries and Game: Actions & Activities, Alaska Resources Library and Information Services (ARLIS), About the Division of Commercial Fisheries, Western Alaska Salmon Stock Identification Program (WASSIP), Online General Season & Registration Permits, Subsistence and Personal Use Fishing Permits, CSIS – Community Subsistence Information System, The Technical Papers and Special Publications Series. A small, stocky rodent with short legs, large head, and small eyes and ears. The feet and tail are darker above and lighter below. Meadow voles are less active during full moon nights. Meadow voles show promiscuous mating behavior, with the female entering estrus after establishing contact with an adult male.

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