ENVIRONMENT YUKON






Voles

Including:

Long-tailed Vole (Microtus longicaudus)

Singing Vole (Microtus miurus)

Tundra or Root Vole (Microtus oeconomus)

Meadow Vole (Microtus Pennsylvanicus)

Yellow-cheeked or Taiga Vole (Microtus xanthognathus)

Southern Red-backed Vole (Myodes gapperi)

Northern Red-backed Vole (Myodes rutilus)

Eastern Heather Vole (Phenacomys ungava)

 

Order Rodentia
Family

Cricetidae

 

vole

Red-Backed Vole / Environment Yukon Photo

Also known as: Meadow Mice, Field Mice

Fast Facts

Distribution in Yukon
Height 8-23 cm Distribution of voles in Yukon
Weight

20 -170 g (depending on species)

Lifespan 1-2 years
Habitat Dependent on species
Predators Small mammals, birds of prey

Conservation Status

Yukon S4 (Apparently Secure)
Global G5 (Secure)
Yukon population estimate: Not determined

 

Description

Behaviour

Voles are excellent tunnellers in both the ground and under the snow.  They do not hibernate in the winter but stay active in tunnels underneath an insulating layer of snow.  They have incredibly high reproductive rates with females breeding continuously from May to August.  The Red-backed Vole produces an average of 6 young every 3 weeks.  Voles play a critical role in support the food chain in the north.  Many mammals depend heavily on this small rodent as a staple in their diet. 

Diet

Omnivorous: seeds, berries, roots, plant, insects, carrion.

Sights and sounds

Vole latrine

B. Bennett  

Subnivean tunnels appear after snow melts

YG- P. Merchant   

Scat

Oval pellet (0.2 cm)

Signs

Tunnels evident after melting out

 

Vole tracks  

Tracks

Front: 0.8 x 0.8 cm Hind: 1 x 0.8 cm

 

 

Mammals and People

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