Friday, 23 April 2010

Rats Versus Voles Again

I'd been watching this vole at White Lion Meadow, and when it swam off I started to put my camera away. Then something - as I thought, the vole - climbed back out of the water. It was this rat, which seems only to have one eye. The vole later reappeared further down the stream, but hiding in a clump of celandine.
I know from experience rats in any serious number can be bad news for water vole colonies, so I'll need to monitor the situation carefully. A single monocular rat probably isn't much threat on its own, but rats rarely come in ones.


Steve said...

Hi Kate - that Rat is a concern. The stream that holds the Water Voles on my patch has been polluted....such a shame. Haven't seen a WV at all this year.

Kate said...

I'm gutted to hear that. What caused the pollution? Can it be cleaned up? If there are colonies nearby, and the habitat's restored, the water voles will come back.

Phoning about the rats this morning!

kath said...

What do you call the rat? Gordon?

Photos show clearly the differences between rats and voles, and how much cuter voles are.

Kate said...

Something unprintable! I don't mind rats for themselves, but they do cause problems for this colony. Anyway, I'm on the case with my friend the very clued-up pest controller who knows how to remove rats while leaving voles unharmed.