Water Vole - Arvicola amphibius

    Alternative names
    Formerly Arvicola terrestris

    Water Voles have a short hair-covered tail, a blunt, rounded nose, and a small chubby face with small ears. They have a rich chestnut-brown coat, but individuals in Scotland often have black fur. The fur traps air that provides thermal insulation when swimming, and they also possess flaps of skin in the ear that prevent water from entering.

    Identification difficulty

    Densely vegetated banks of slow flowing rivers, ditches, lakes and marshes where water is present throughout the year.

    When to see it

    All Year Round

    Life History

    Water voles are herbivores, feeding on a huge variety of waterside vegetation and consuming 80 percent of their body weight each day. Each year between April and September, one to five litters consisting of three to seven blind, naked pups can be produced.

    UK Status

    Rapid decline over decades has made the Water Vole much scarcer in Britain than previously.

    VC55 Status

    Uncommon 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