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Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens

AG Säugetierkunde in NRW

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European pine vole

Rote Liste NRW: D Daten unzureichend

Microtus subterraneus




Foto: Jan Ole Kriegs, Münster-Gievenbeck 2014
The European Pine Vole has very small eyes and short ears that barely emerge from the fur, which is why it is sometimes called Small-eyed Vole or Short-eared Mouse. Otherwise it exteriorly very much resembles the Common Vole and the Field Vole. The pelage is coloured a cold grey-brown on the upper side; the underside is greyish. The European Pine Vole populates a variety of habitats, which, however, cannot be too dry. These are mainly grazing lands, marginal structures of agricultural areas, but also wet floodplains and occasionally deciduous forests. A dense ground vegetation of grasses, herbs, or shrubs is preferred because these enable a protected movement above ground. The European Pine Vole is strongly tied to the life underground and is thus rather rarely observed on the surface. Predominantly roots, rhizomes and bulbs serve as food in comparison to the mostly leaf-eating Field Vole and Common Vole. The European Pine Vole occurs in the temperate part of Europe. The north-western distributional limit runs from the southern Netherlands across the northern part of Westphalia and the Hannover area in easterly direction. In the southern hill country, especially moist tall forb communities are settled in, for example in creek valleys. Forest edges and slopes of drainage ditches appear to play a role in the occurrence of the species in the lowlands. Probably the European Pine Vole occurs especially in those places where the competition with the Common Vole is not too great. Its broader-spread food spectrum compared to other Microtus species seems to secure its survival even in small-scale habitats of a heterogeneous agricultural landscape. Besides forest openings, included in this are diversified and structurally rich habitats, as for example allotment gardens. Although locally high densities can be reached, large-scale mass reproductions of this species are not known. Currently there appear to be gaps in the data for the area of the lower-Rhenian lowlands and the lower-Rhenian Bay, so that the current distributional pattern on the adjacent map is probably still incomplete.


Christian Imholt und Jan Ole Kriegs


Imholt C, Kriegs JO (2023): Kleinwühlmaus (Microtus subterraneus).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2023/03/27



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