Definitions

Woodland Vole

Woodland Vole

The Woodland Vole, Microtus pinetorum, is a small vole found in eastern North America. It is also known as the Pine Vole.

These animals have short, soft reddish-brown fur on the upperparts and greyish brown underparts. They have short ears and a short tail, somewhat darker on top. They are 12 cm long with a 2 cm tail and weigh about 29 g.

They are found in deciduous woods with leaf litter and soft soils in the eastern United States to central Texas and as far north as southern Ontario and Quebec. These animals make shallow underground burrows, also sometimes using burrows built by other small mammals. They are often found in small loose colonies.

They feed on grasses, roots, seeds, bark and underground fungi, sometimes berries and insects. Food is stored in their burrows. Predators include hawks, owls, foxes and snakes. They may cause damage in orchards. These animals give a high-pitched sound to warn of danger.

The female vole has 2 to 4 litters of 3 to 7 young in a nest lined with vegetation in an underground burrow or under a log. Pairs are usually monogamous.

They are active year-round, at most times of the day, but mainly travel in their burrows.

Most woodland voles have a lifespan of 3 months.

References

  • Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. Pp. 894-1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

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