bank vole burrows
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Bank voles living on abandoned tin mining sites in Cornwall and Devon have been shown to have high levels of arsenic in their tissues. It gathers and stores food underground and makes a nest with moss, dry grasses and leaves close to the surface or even above ground. The tunnels are generally only a few centimetres below ground, with entrance holes about 3cm in diameter. Bank voles may dig shallow tunnels just beneath the surface of lawns in damp conditions. Voles differ from mice in their blunt. However, their short life span and dramatically fluctuating populations over the year may make them vulnerable to environmental or habitat change. Both males and females can be aggressive to litters that aren’t their own, with some females attacking litters in overlapping territories. Males and females are similar in appearance but the young animals have greyer fur. Bank voles live in shallow underground burrows which they line with dried grass, feathers and wool, in areas with thick cover they construct ground level nests of grass and moss. Not to be confused with: the bank vole, which is very similar. The easiest way to tell them apart is to look at the tail. Four subspecies are recognised in islands around the UK which all tend to be larger than the mainland race. Field vole, bank vole and woodmouse burrows are much smaller at only 2 – 3cms across. It is found throughout northern and central Europe, mainland UK and southern Ireland. Bank voles breed from April to October, although in mild conditions they may breed throughout the year and numbers may build rapidly to produce vole plagues which are then associated with increased numbers of predators such as short-eared owls. The adult vole weighs up to 40 g and the body is about 90 mm long with a tail about half as long again. Water vole burrows appear as a series of holes along the water’s edge, some just above or at the water level on steep banks, others can be below the water level There can also be burrows occurring further up the bank, up to 3m from the water’s edge. Bank voles usually breed in shallow burrows. © 2020 Cornwall Mammal Group, created with Wix.com, Cornwall Mammal Group, c/o Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Five Acres, Allet, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9DJ, Four subspecies are recognised in islands around the UK which all tend to be larger than the mainland race. They tend to be higher up the bank than a water vole, although some water vole colonies are taken over by rats which results in the burrows becoming larger. It climbs freely and will use bird’s nests as feeding platforms. The bank vole lives in woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens. Bank voles live in shallow underground burrows which they line with dried grass, feathers and wool, in areas with thick cover they construct ground level nests of grass and moss. houses and set up home in roofs and wall cavities. Mouse holes are often camouflaged or blocked with debris, such as small stones, clods of earth or twigs. Autumn is a time of plenty for bank voles since they eat nuts and berries from the hedgerows but because they also feed on spillage from bird feeders we have a reasonable chance of seeing one. There is sometimes an obvious fan of mud around the burrow which may have feeding signs or a latrine on. Hedgerows are vital to bank voles in Ireland providing important dispersal corridors between their nests and feeding grounds. owls and raptors, crows and adders. The young are weaned at 3 weeks and are sexually mature in a further 2 weeks. Voles are vulnerable to environmental

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