Saturday, 18 August 2012

Life Expectancy

Much squabbling again tonight. The voles are dispersing, juveniles being driven off to find new territories by their parents, and it's a sobering thought that the adults I'm seeing around now are unlikely to make it through to the spring.

Water vole life expectancy is just five months, due to high predation of young (and, I imagine, nests being lost to floods). But even voles who make it to full size almost always die during their second winter. Late-born juveniles which are too small, less than 140g, will also fail to make it.

That's why these last weeks of summer are so precious, and the first sightings of the following year so joyful.


Anonymous said...

Gosh I never knew they had such short life spans, I'm also really enjoying your blog :)

Anonymous said...

Gosh I didn't realise they had such short life expectancies, really enjoying reading the blog :)

Kate said...

Thank you. Off now to investigate yours!