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Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens

AG Säugetierkunde in NRW

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Field vole

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Microtus agrestis




Foto: Fer Boei
The Field Vole is a typical arvicoline mouse with a short, blunt snout, small eyes, a tubular body and a short tail. It is most likely confused with the Common Vole, which is coloured rather grey than brown and whose adult individuals on average are a bit smaller than the Field Vole.
The Field Vole occurs in all natural environments of North-Rhine-Westphalia. Preferred habitats are open areas with dense grassy vegetation, whereby no preference of especially dry or wet areas can be detected. Since Field Voles construct their nests close to the surface and, in wetland, even construct these above the surface in grass tussocks, they are not dependent on areas with a sufficient ground water level distance as the related Common Vole. The main food of the species consists of grasses and herbaceous plants. The Field Vole can cause damage in sylvicultural plantations because they don′t spurn the bark of young deciduous trees.
A large number of the available records stem from the analysis of owl pellets. With over 40%, the Field Vole reaches the highest shares in pellets of the Tawny Owl in contrast to the open-area-hunting barn owl where the share is maximally 10%. In Germany, the Field Vole can reach maximum densities of up to 100 individuals per hectare. Their populations normally reach the highest level every 2 - 4 years and subsequently collapse again.


Holger Meinig


Meinig H (2023): Erdmaus (Microtus agrestis).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2023/03/26



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