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Meadow (Longtail) Vole

Description: Meadow voles can have different colors in their fur, depending on where they live. They have stocky bodies with usually yellowish brown or reddish brown shaggy fur, peppered with black. Their eyes are noticeable and beady, while their ears are hard to see. They also have a long, dark tail and they are fairly small, usually not more than seven or eight inches long. Many people confuse voles with mice because you can find the two animals in similar areas, but they are different species. The best way to tell the two apart is to look for the ears. If the rodent has noticeable, larger ears, it is probably a mouse. Meadow voles may seem insignificant in nature's scheme of things, but are the key to survival of many wild predators including weasel, foxes, and birds of prey.

voles
Voles, courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Habitat: Meadow voles love to live in lush, grassy fields. They will also live in marshes, swamps, woodland glades, and mountaintops.   Voles are active day and night the entire year. They construct a complex tunnel system with surface runways and numerous burrow entrances. A single tunnel system may contain several adults and young.

Food: Voles eat mostly green vegetation and tubers (where plants store nutrients), including grasses and clover. Voles create a vast system of underground tunnels, where they can reach plant roots and pull the plants inside their tunnels to munch on them. Voles eat almost their own weight daily!  
 
Fun Facts: Voles have short life spans, ranging from two to sixteen months.

Environmental Education:
Wildlife Species 


 

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Herbivore Mammals

Jackrabbit
Pygmy rabbit
Desert cottontail
Beaver
Eastern gray squirrel
Red squirrel
Chipmunk
Deer mouse
Kangaroo rat
Meadow vole
Mule deer
Elk
Bighorn sheep
American pronghorn
Moose


Carnivore Mammals

Bobcat
American badger
River otter
Red fox
Long-tailed weasel
Coyote
Grizzly bear
Mountain lion


Amphibians

Salamanders

Long-toed salamander
Idaho giant salamander
Coeur d'Alene salamander

Frogs and Toads

American bullfrog
Columbia spotted frog
Western toad
Northern leopard frog
Pacific tree frog
Great Basin spadefoot

Reptiles

Snakes

Painted turtle
Northern alligator lizard
Mohave black-collared lizard
Short-horned lizard
Desert horned lizard
Sagebrush lizard
Western fence lizard
Western skink
Side-blotched lizard
Longnosed leopard lizard
Western whiptail


Bats

Western pipistrelle
Western small-footed myotis
Little brown bat
Yuma myotis
Townsend's big-eared bat
Hoary bat
Silver-haired bat
Fringed myotis
Pallid bat

Sensitive Species (not a complete list)

Greater sage-grouse
Pygmy rabbit
No. Idaho ground squirrel
So. Idaho ground squirrel
Canada lynx
Grizzly bear
Selkirk Mtns. woodland caribou
Kootenai White River sturgeon
Bull trout
Sockeye salmon
Chinook salmon
Steelhead trout
Yellow-billed cuckoo


Birds

Waterfowl
Raptors
Songbirds

Fish