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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Field Vole Facts You’ll Never Forget

Field voles are extremely vocal and field vole facts will surely interest you. Field vole sounds include chattering and chirping

Don’t let the cute round face of the field vole fool you. These small creatures have a short life span of about one year, but they lead quite a violent life that is spent nibbling grass and fighting with other field voles over grassland territory. Although they are not dangerous to humans, a field vole can be quite dangerous towards other field voles due to their violent tendencies to protect their woodland territory.

Considering that the field vole is one of the UK’s most common mammals, you’d expect to spot them easily in a woodland. But that is not the case. Field voles keep themselves well-hidden during both day and night in the vegetation of the woodland and moorlands. They are, therefore, quite difficult to spot despite their 75 million vole populations.  With their huge population, field voles are currently not protected in the UK. Field voles are active by day and spend most of their time eating roots, seeds, and leaves which form a major portion of their diet.

Read on to find out more interesting facts about the field vole. For more interesting facts on animals, check out our articles on the Pygmy Marmoset or the Nubian Ibex.

Field Vole Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Field Vole?

The field vole microtus agrestis is a rodent that has grayish brown fur.

What class of animal does a Field Vole belong to?

The field vole species is from the class of mammals and is often called the short-tailed vole, or a woodland vole.

How many Field Voles are there in the world?

The population of voles stands at 75 million at present.

Where does a Field Vole live?

Field voles have their habitats in the grasslands, woodland, and the moors. These small creatures nest underground in burrows near the roots of trees and under fruit trees. The species makes tunnels from the nest under the ground in search of food to meet the needs of their diet. They are typically found in Western Europe, North-West China, and North America.

What is a Field Vole's habitat?

Field vole habitats include deciduous woodland, urban areas and gardens, grasslands, and heathland. They are among the wildlife species whose population is found in grassy fields, meadows, in agricultural areas, and along the banks of lakes and rivers.

Who do Field Voles live with?

Field voles typically live in packs with other voles in the nest, especially those being from the same family colony.

How long does a Field Vole live?

The average life span of field voles is one year.

How do they reproduce?

Field voles grow their population during the breeding season (March to October), at which time, a female short-tailed vole can produce up to six litters of eight baby vole in a year. Despite being born into the nest of shredded grass, it is common for small field voles to last just a few days. Barn owls, weasels, foxes, kestrels, stoats, and other populations of wildlife prey upon the short-tailed vole.    

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of field voles is of Least Concern because they're not under the threat of extinction. It is important to note however that changing agricultural practice has had an impact on the species population due to reduced habitat. Since they are an important food source for barn owls and other birds, it is essential that their population be conserved.  

Field Vole Fun Facts  

What do Field Voles look like?

The field vole can be identified by its short tail, blunt round face, and small eyes and ears. They have gray-brown fur and pale gray bellies. They are often confused with other species, including the bank vole, water vole, and field mice. Compared to the field mouse, the field vole's body is stouter and its tail is shorter, with more fur covering it. They also have smaller ears and eyes compared to mice. The water vole is much bigger than the field vole and has a dark brown coat with a longer tail. While the bank vole is of a similar size to the field vole, the bank vole has reddish-brown fur and a longer tail than the field vole.

A field vole has a tail that is about a third of its head and body length.

How cute are they?

If cute is a word you would use for rodents, then this common vole with its small ears and short tail will meet your criteria. Just stick to looking at vole pictures though, so that you don't have to worry about any diseases spreading.  

How do they communicate?

Field voles chirp and squeak to communicate. They make these distinct noises when they're distressed, in danger, and even during courtship.  

How big is a Field Vole?

Field voles head and body length measure 3.5-4.5 in (9-11.5cm). They tend to be about half the size of mice and weigh 20-40 g.

How fast can a Field Vole run?

Field voles are very fast and can run at around 6 mph.

How much does a Field Vole weigh?

Field voles can weigh anywhere between 20-40 g.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are male field voles and female field voles. The genders of field voles themselves do not have any specific names.

What would you call a baby Field Vole?

A baby field vole would be referred to as a baby field vole as there is no special term used to call baby field voles.

What do they eat?

The diet of these herbivorous species consists of roots, grass, tree barks, stems, fruits, leaves, and nuts. Their daily water intake comes primarily from the moisture content of the food they eat.

Are they poisonous?

Field voles aren't poisonous, but they can carry parasites that result in the spread of diseases.  

Would they make a good pet?

Field voles would not make good pets because they can spread diseases to humans and other pets.

Did you know...

While Voles are not physically dangerous, they can spread diseases through urine and feces.

When it is time to mate, male field voles give out an unpleasant and musky smell which helps them defend their territories. These small territorial voles squeak loudly and will even fight day and night till death to protect what is rightfully theirs.  

How to tell them apart from field mice

While field voles and field mice do resemble each other quite a bit, if you know the characteristics of each, you can identify vole vs field mouse. Voles have stout bodies with shorter tails than mice. Vole tails also have more fur than the tails of mice. The eyes and ears of field voles and also smaller than that of field mice.

Other animals in their habitats

Several species of wildlife share the habitat with field voles, including their predators like owls. Other vole species are also found in the same habitat.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Chausie cat, or the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our field vole coloring pages.

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