Microtus oeconomus 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Cricetidae

Scientific Name: Microtus oeconomus (Pallas, 1776)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Root Vole, Tundra Vole
French Campagnol Nordique
Spanish Topillo Nórdico
Taxonomic Notes: Small isolated subpopulations are considered separate subspecies (e.g. Netherlands and the Pannonian population).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2006-05-19
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Rimvydas Juškaitis, Boris Sheftel, Holger Meinig, Giovanni Amori, Heikki Henttonen
Reviewer(s): Caroline Pollock and Helen Temple
European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
EU 25 regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

Globally, the species is common and widespread and is not considered threatened. In southern parts of the species' range in Europe isolated populations are declining. The species is naturally fragmented. Population decline is due to habitat degradation and loss. In central Europe decline is considered serious, however in Baltic countries the population is increasing and expanding. Overall in Europe the species is not considered threatened. However, isolated subspecies (arenicola and mehelyi) are declining at a rate that may be high enough to merit a threatened assessment.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Microtus oeconomus is a Holarctic species, with a wide range extending from north-west Europe in the west to Alaska in the East. In Europe, its main range extends from eastern Germany and northern Fennoscandia through Poland, Belarus, and northern and central European Russia. Isolated relict populations are found in the Netherlands, southern Scandinavia, the Finnish coast, and Austria, Slovakia and Hungary (van Apeldoorn 1999, Shenbrot and Krasnov 2005). A lowland species (occurs up to at least 1,300 m: EMA Workshop 2006).
Countries occurrence:
Austria; Belarus; Czech Republic; Estonia; Finland; Germany; Hungary; Kazakhstan; Lithuania; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Russian Federation; Slovakia; Sweden; Ukraine
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Range and population declines are evident in parts of Europe, although the species is stable or increasing in other areas. The species' range is contracting along its south-west edge in Poland, and relict populations in Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and the Netherlands are diminishing (van Apeldoorn 1999). In other areas, populations are stable (albeit with cyclic fluctuations in Fennoscandia and central Europe), and in Lithuania the population is increasing and expanding into new areas (van Apeldoorn 1999, L. Balciauskas and R. Juškaitis pers. comm. 2006).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It typically inhabits damp, densely-vegetated areas, in close proximity to water. Wet meadows, bogs, fens, riverbanks and flooded shores are all important habitats (Tast 1982, van Apeldoorn 1999).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In the Netherlands, population declines have been attributed to a combination of habitat degradation and competitive exclusion (van Apeldoorn 1999). The population in Slovakia has shown population declines which are attributed to habitat destruction caused by the construction of the Danube River Dam (EMA Workshop 2006). Degradation of wetlands due to agricultural expansion is a further threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention. Subspecies arenicola (from the Netherlands) is listed on Annex II of the EU Habitats and Species Directive, and both M. oe. arenicola and M. oe. mehelyi (the latter from Austria, Hungary and Slovakia) are listed on Annex IV. Recommended conservation measures include conducting surveys to determine the size and distribution of the isolated population, and defining management plans to maintain and improve the habitat (F. Spitzenberger pers. comm. 2006)

Citation: Rimvydas Juškaitis, Boris Sheftel, Holger Meinig, Giovanni Amori, Heikki Henttonen. 2007. Microtus oeconomus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T13451A3968378. . Downloaded on 17 July 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided