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The Vole

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The Vole

Post by Guest on Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:49 pm

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Vole
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Adult

Baby

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General Information;

Type: Mammal
Diet: Herbivore
Size: 3–9 in (7.6–23 cm) (size is able to vary between different species)
Weight: 0.4 to 1.76 oz (14 to 50g) (weight is able to vary between different species)
Conservation status: Not applicable
Scientific Classification:
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man: Not applicable
Vole Range


A vole is a small rodent resembling a mouse but with a stouter body, a shorter, hairy tail, a slightly rounder head, smaller ears and eyes, and differently formed molars (high-crowned and with angular cusps instead of low-crowned and with rounded cusps). There are approximately 155 species of voles. They are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice in North America. Vole species form the subfamily Arvicolinae with the lemmings and the muskrats. Voles common to yards and gardens are curious animals with a close resemblance to other rodents common to North America. They are often confused with house mice and shrews, and on occasion even moles.
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Physical Features;
Voles, no matter what species, are quite common in appearance. They are rather stocky in form, having short legs, a short tail and a dense little body. Voles have very small ears which barely protrude out of their fur. While voles are often confused with the house mouse, they are much larger. In fact, meadow voles are nearly 2/3’s larger than the house mouse. While the fur of the vole will vary in color from black to brown to red it will always be very course with the bottom, or belly side, lighter in color. In winter the voles fur will turn much lighter changing to a grayish color with a duller sheen. The feet of the meadow voles will be darker than those of the montane vole species which are prevalent west of the Rocky Mountain range.
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Mental Features;
Voles are quite content going about their business by sunshine or moonlight. Voles do not hibernate, but the seasons do play a role in the time of day chosen for activity. In the warmer weather they may favor the nighttime and, conversely, they will be more active during the day during the winter season. The method by which the vole travels during its daily or nightly business is through a system of surface runways. The majority of their day is spent traversing through these runways. Voles will typically make 15 to 20 trips along them. They are covered by snow in winter and vegetation in the summer. This is why voles are rarely seen. Voles normally make their homes underground, but may choose to hang their hat under a flower pot or a rock wall.
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Diet;
The diet of the voles is wide ranging. Specific favorites in the wild will include tree bark and grasses, sedges and flowering plants, roots and tubers. In your yard, garden or fields, their ravenous appetite will drive them to consume a great variety of vegetable garden staples including tomatoes and cauliflower, beets and artichokes, cabbage, lettuce, spinach and carrots. Tree favorites are avocado, almond and olive; orange, lemon, lime, cherries and apples. These little mammals with consume both the bark and fruits of these trees. This allows for the rodent to snack on fruit trees year round. Flower beds are not safe from the “meadow mice” either. They will become a regular stop along the vole’s daily foraging activities if they contain some of their favorites like lilies and dicondra.
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Threats towards this animal;
The threats towards this animal excluding wolves are:

Martens, raccoons, owls, hawks, falcons, coyotes, foxes, snakes, red-tailed hawks, weasels, cats and dogs.
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Credits (c);

Images:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvca/5730799620/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35427622@N05/4964623357/

Information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vole
http://www.outwitcritters.com/vole/index.html
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