They also have a preference for steep sided banks so that they can tunnel upward in the bank if the water level rises. Voles have been known to carry a variety of diseases like rabies, Hantavirus, and Korean hemorrhagic fever. There is a re-introduced population of water voles on the River Arun which has bred with remnant Arun valley populations. 0000001369 00000 n It is fairly easy to spot water voles if you know what to look for. The destruction and fragmentation of wetland habitats has isolated populations of water vole so that they are extremely vulnerable to chance extinction events:-. The only remaining large populations of water voles in Sussex are on Chichester Coastal Plain (West Sussex) and on Pett and Rye Levels (East Sussex). 0000006327 00000 n Breeding females have territories of 30-150m and fiercely defend them, while males having larger home ranges of 60-300m that overlap several females. introduce tighter control on water vole re-introductions to ensure that regionally distinct genetic adaptations to local conditions are preserved, and that no genetic vulnerabilities (i.e. 0 Where do Water Voles Live? They prefer slow flowing water flanked by earth banks, into which they can easily tunnel and form burrows. 0000001201 00000 n Try setting baits in the midday to early evening because that’s the time when voles get more active. 0000001066 00000 n Increase survey efforts in non linear sites which are particularly important in winter. Monitoring each year has shown the water voles to be doing well. 0000048160 00000 n 17 28 We know that if we work to protect the habitats that water voles rely on, we will also be helping a wealth of other wetland species to survive. Place traps at the base of trees and shrubs. <]>> Larger species, such as the European water vole, live longer and usually die during their second, or rarely their third, winter. GB population of 875,000. They leave 'tic tac' sized and shaped piles of droppings around their territories. They often live in burrow systems. Burrows are normally located adjacent to slow moving, calm water which they seem to prefer. Vole Damage. In some cases, an experienced local advisor can help you to obtain a ‘licence exemption’ which enables you to carry out sensitive maintenance works at appropriate times of year. 0000022157 00000 n Look out for the signs of water voles, such as burrows in the riverbank, often with a nibbled 'lawn' of grass around the entrance. 0000005259 00000 n Did you see it's super-long tongue? 4 - 10 cm long with 45 ° teeth-marks at ends) at feeding stations around their territories. On the ground this would equate to a network of inter-linked ponds, pools, wetland habitats and watercourses on a site which would need to be between 100 and 600 ha in size. In April 2008, water voles became fully protected by law under the Wildlife and Countyside Act (1981) Section 9. Most live for 5 months, some can live for up to 2 winters. 0000004205 00000 n In the winter they sometimes eat the bark of willow and hawthorn trees. Mink are one of the only predators that can follow water voles into their burrows. Contact the Sussex Mammal Group if you would like to get involved with volunteer work on water voles and other Sussex Mammals, or have a look at some of the work being done by the Mammal Society UK. The licence type will depend on the scale of work involved, the likely disturbance to water voles, and the level of skill needed to secure the welfare of water voles. They prefer slow flowing water with earth banks, which are not regularly flooded, or areas of lush fen and reedbed where they can make aerial nests to safeguard them from flooding and predators. 44 0 obj<>stream Chris Packham uses a man-made burrow to investigate water voles. Read more:, Woods Mill, 0000047991 00000 n 0000026754 00000 n startxref Accidental deaths through poisoning meant for rats can also be a problem. They need luxuriant wetland vegetation (grasses, reeds, flowering plants and sedges) to eat and in which to shelter. For more information and to help you find these rare wetland mammals, download our free Water vole Spotters Pack. Cardowan Moss, Glasgow. 0000007698 00000 n Voles only live for about a year. 0000006496 00000 n A Water vole Mitigation Handbook is also available to purchase from the Mammal Society. Find out about volunteering with the Sussex Wildlife Trust, How to carry out Rat Control without harming Water Voles. They don’t hibernate so you can spot them all year round. Water voles live on rivers, canals, ditches, streams, ponds - and almost any kind of wetland. So far the research has led to a range of recommendations including : NOTE: Non linear habitats are 'horizontal' habitats such as reed beds, fens and rush pasture. 0000000856 00000 n 0000023426 00000 n 0000002985 00000 n %%EOF Henfield, The water vole has experienced one of the fastest declines of any native mammal in the 20th century. Sensitive, graded cuts on bankside vegetation should encourage female dispersal. Burrows are normally 4-8 cm across and wider than they are high. Some North American vole species are arboreal, like the red tree vole. Their favourite nibbles are wetland plants such as rushes, sedges and horsetail. Water voles are vegetarian (herbivores) and eat over 200 different species of plant. Predators such as mink, rats or cats can predate whole colonies of water vole. This melanistic form is more common in the Scottish Highlands. These voles rarely live longer than 12 months. There may be isolated communities of water voles elsewhere in Sussex but these are small and often genetically unviable populations. Watch this Great Spotted Woodpecker hunting insects living in this dead tree. to disease) are introduced. Increase the occurrence of bank side trees / hedges / reeds / scrub patches along linear watercourse to provide seasonal food and refuge habitat. Development, drainage and general urbanisation of the natural environment. Click here for more information on the Wildlife Trusts National Water vole database and mapping project. Up to 70% die during the winter months because they can’t find enough food, the weather can get too cold and flooding can destroy their homes. Releasing water voles in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales The average life of the smaller vole species is three to six months. For more information on applying for licences for work to study or disturb water voles, click here. In Britain, water voles live in burrows excavated within the banks of rivers, ditches, ponds, and streams. They prefer slow flowing water with earth banks, which are not regularly flooded, or areas of lush fen and reedbed where they can make aerial nests to safeguard them from flooding and predators. How long do they live for? Graded edges to vegetation along watercourses are much better. Burrows can be found up to 3 m from the water's edge with numerous entrances including some below water. Studies found the water voles were still creating burrow systems and foraging in a similar way to their bank side relatives. They like to spend a … See also our leaflet on Mink control for water voles. 0000001466 00000 n Create non linear wetlands everywhere (vertical habitats such as reedbeds, fens, etc). Brighton University have been working with Sussex Wildlife Trust and others on DNA and habitat analyses to establish new national protocols for water vole conservation. endstream endobj 18 0 obj<. Water voles are a UK Priority Species. Water voles are short lived. 0000040536 00000 n They can also live in aerial nests which are the size of a small football. They prefer slow flowing water with earth banks, which are not regularly flooded, or areas of lush fen and reedbed where they can make aerial nests to safeguard them from flooding and predators. 0000009050 00000 n In fact, the European water vole can swim up to 50 ft. underwater. If you are carrying out any work on your land which may affect water voles then you need to show that you have looked for them, and that you have a licence to carry out any work which could disturb them. Where do bank voles live? Water voles live in colonies but string themselves out along a watercourse. It would help if landowners could be supported to improve habitat management for water voles. 0000001328 00000 n Here are a few tips :-. Water voles do not live in Ireland and are absent from most offshore islands except Anglesey, the Isle of Wight and the Sound of Jura Islands. They are still widespread but have undergone one of the most serious declines of any mammal in Britain. !U�M#����.��Ћ��J�'� ty�e�� �q�'/&�!J��1�9�|��=RS���TB�dRx J�^�ʍ��_�^3!�(!�~�2��.��4��/*ɳڠ�z�� w���V�e"{�D�� Water voles make a distinctive 'plopping' noise as they jump into the water but remember that frogs and other animals can make a similar sound, as can rocks and branches falling into the water. The National Water vole Steering Group suggests that Water voles need a minimum of 6 km of watercourse to ensure the long term viability of a population. 0000000016 00000 n Try baiting the traps with peanut butter. Prolonged periods of flooding make water voles vulnerable to predators and flush them from burrows and feeding places.

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