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Microtus agrestis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA CRICETIDAE

Scientific Name: Microtus agrestis
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1761)
Common Name(s):
English Field Vole
French Campagnol Agreste
Spanish Topillo Agreste
Taxonomic Notes: Molecular evidence suggests this may be two species (Jaarola and Searle 2002).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Kryštufek, B., Vohralík, V., Zima, J. & Zagorodnyuk, I.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
A widespread and common species with no major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The field vole is a widespread Palaearctic species, ranging from western Europe eastwards through Russia to Lake Baikal in south-east Siberia. It is present in Great Britain, and much of continental Europe (e.g. Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovenia and Serbia) but it is absent from Iceland, Ireland and southernmost Europe (Zima 1999, Shenbrot and Krasnov 2005). The Mediterranean populations may be a separate species, but more taxonomic work is needed to confirm this. It occurs from sea level to 2,100 m in the Alps (Spitzenberger 2002).
Countries:
Native:
Andorra; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Hungary; Italy; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is generally common, although it may be locally rare in marginal parts of its range in western and central Europe. In some areas, population density fluctuates markedly over a cycle of approximately three to four years. In peak years it can cause damage to pastures, orchards and forestry plantations (Zima 1999).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in a wide range of habitats including grasslands, woods, upland heaths, dunes, marshes, peat-bogs and river-banks, tending to prefer damp areas. It occurs in a number of anthropogenic habitats including meadows, field-margins and young forestry plantations, but is absent from heavily grazed areas (Zima 1999). The field vole is predominantly herbivorous, feeding on grasses and herbaceous plants, and gnawing bark in the winter. Exceptionally, animal prey (e.g. dipteran larvae) are taken (Krapp and Niethammer 1982).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There appear to be no major threats to this species over much of its range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is present in a large number of protected areas throughout its wide range. No specific conservation measures are required.

Citation: Kryštufek, B., Vohralík, V., Zima, J. & Zagorodnyuk, I. 2008. Microtus agrestis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 September 2014.
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