Water vole

(Arvicola amphibius)

Taxon: Rodentia

Description: Brown fur,

Size: About; tail about

Weight: Average 350g.

Lifespan: 18 months up to 2-3 years, though few survive more two winters


Habitat: Riparian fringes of brooks, pools and other water bodies; also occurs in other wetland, marshland and occasional terrestrial habitats although  the latter have not been recorded locally.

Origin & Distribution: The water vole is a secretive semi-aquatic species which was once widespread in Britain.

Local Survey history: Whitchurch Water Vole Survey 2002 and Project 2006-2016

Diet: herbivorous consuming a wide variety of plants with over 250 different plants have been found in their feeding remains

General Ecology:

Conservation Status: water voles are strictly protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and cannot be killed, kept or sold (even stuffed specimens) except under licence.

Threats: Habitat fragmentation and predation

Action: The Whitchurch Water Vole Group is working to monitor populations and improve habitat.

Main recording methods: Field signs (feeding remains, droppings and latrines, burrows, tracks and footprints) and direct sightings

Other Field Signs