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.

Wildlife 

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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

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Fish