Monday, 29 March 2010

Not Much Cover

Bank and invisible burrow



Latrine (click to enlarge)

I'd have said I knew what kind of bank habitat water voles liked - plenty of reed/grass/general plant cover, lots of vegetation to eat - but after spotting four latrines within the space of just ten metres, I saw a vole shoot up the side of this bare-looking bank (top picture) and disappear into a burrow. Traditionally we've assumed overhanging trees don't suit water voles because the branches provide too much shade and inhibit the growth of riparian plants. However, there is a marshy area of reeds about 70 metres lower down this stream, so that might well be part of this vole's territory (ranges vary, according to lushness of habitat, from 20m - 130m).

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