Microtus canicaudus 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Cricetidae

Scientific Name: Microtus canicaudus
Species Authority: Miller, 1897
Common Name(s):
English Gray-tailed Vole
Taxonomic Notes: Previously recognized as a subspecies of M. montanus; electrophoretic and cytological evidence confirm its specific status (Modi 1986).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-05-31
Assessor(s): Cassola, F.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Linzey, A. & Hammerson, G.A.
Listed as Least Concern, although its extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 km², it is common within its limited range and well-adapted to agricultural lands (Wolff et al. 1997).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in the Pacific Northwest, USA (Steiner et al. 2007). It is found in the lower elevations of Willamette Valley, Oregon, and at least two localities north of the Columbia River in adjacent Clark County, Washington in the United States. Specimens reported from east of the Cascade Mountains represent other species (Verts and Carraway 1987).
Countries occurrence:
United States (Oregon, Washington)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is apparently secure within its range (NatureServe). Population densities fluctuate markedly, but few quantitative data are available. Within enclosures, densities comparable to 600 per hectare have been attained.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species occurs in grass seed and grain fields, pastures, uncultivated field borders and wild regions (Steiner et al. 2007). Grey-tailed voles are associated almost exclusively with agricultural lands, especially grasses grown for seed, small grains, and permanent pastures of legumes and grasses. Also along grassy highway and railroad rights-of-way. They construct intricate runway and burrow systems. Nests are built underground or above ground under boards, bales, and debris scattered in fields (Verts and Carraway 1987).

Breeding probably takes place throughout the year. Gestation is 21-23 days. Litter size averages about five young. In the laboratory, females as young as 18 days of age are capable of mating and subsequently producing viable offspring (Verts and Carraway 1987). Owls, hawks, foxes, skunks, and domestic and feral cats are common predators. Grey-tailed voles feed on succulent stems and leaves of a wide variety of green plants, including forbs, sedges, and grasses. Clover, wild onion, and false dandelion are also common food items (Verts and Carraway 1987).
Generation Length (years):1

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by agriculture in once abundant grasslands (Steiner et al. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures required at present for this adaptable species.

Citation: Cassola, F. 2016. Microtus canicaudus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T42625A22348218. . Downloaded on 21 October 2016.
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