Saturday, 15 August 2009

Rats again

Enormous water vole

Feeding station

Heavy grazing by water voles

Peacock butterfly
There seems to be a fair amount of water vole activity at both ends of the Edward German Drive stretch of the Staggsbrook: the feeding station was at the far end, and the grazing by the road.
Was disappointed to see a rat this evening at White Lion Meadow, and not just because at first I thought it was a water vole. The rat population there needs keeping in check, or they overwhelm the voles, eating their babies and taking over their burrows.


Richard said...

It's an interesting point about Rats. Most discussions on water vole decline focus on the affect of mink
But I wonder if anyone has considered the large increase in the rat population in recent years?

On a different note, some great photos recently.

Kate said...

I wonder if anyone's done any specific research into it? I know there are rats about everywhere, but the way numbers of rats and voles rise and fall at WLM suggests there's a correlation between the rats 'exploding' and the water voles disappearing. I suspect it's more of an urban issue, because of rat food supplies.

If you think an urban w-v colony's being affected this way, try and fine a sympathetic, knowledgeable pest control officer who'll use Best Practice to remove the rats without hurting the voles. There are details on how to do that on the Scottish Water Vole Project site.