Field Vole - Microtus agrestis

    Alternative names
    Short-tailed Field Vole and Short-tailed Vole

    Like all voles, the Field Vole has a small, stocky body. It has a short, hairy tail and a blunt, rounded muzzle. The rounded ears are less prominent than in mice and are covered with fur, and the eyes are also less obvious than in mice. Head & body length: 9-11 cm. Weight 20-40 g.

    Similar Species

    The Field Vole can usually be distinguished from the very similar Bank Vole by its more sandy coloured brown coat plus a shorter and hairy tail.

    Identification difficulty

    Inhabits ungrazed grasslands, with plenty of vegetation cover. Main habitats include meadows, the margins of fields, and forestry plantations, but they may also be found in hedgerows, dunes, open moorland and blanket bogs.

    When to see it

    All Year Round

    Life History

    Although active throughout the day and night, this vole is most active at dusk. Breeding typically takes place between April and September, but births may occur throughout the year when conditions are good. Between 2 and 7 litters are produced each year, each consisting of 4-6 young. Sexual maturity is reached at 40 days in males, and 28 days in females. The maximum lifespan for field voles is 18 months, although very few individuals survive to reach their second Autumn.

    UK Status

    This species is believed to be the most numerous of the British mammals; it has a wide albeit patchy distribution throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map