Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

* Please click the continent to see the endangered species of our neighborhood.
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Shared by : Kushal Naharki (Nepal)
Habitat : France and south-westwards through Spain and Portugal
Status : Vulnerable
The water vole is almost always found near to water, preferring small (under 8 ha) freshwater lakes, ponds and slow-moving rivers and streams with dense riparian vegetation. It sometimes occurs in drainage ditches and wet fields. Abundant hydrophilic vegetation and shorelines suitable for water vole burrowing activity seem to be essential characteristics of water vole habitat.
Water voles are the largest species of vole in Britain. Their tail length is half the length of the body and it is a dark, slightly furry. Water voles have glossy brown or black fur and a blunt muzzle with small, black eyes. Their ears are rounded. They are mostly active during the day, sitting on their hind feet and feeding on grass stalks held in their front paws. If they are disturbed, they dive into the water with a characteristic ‘plop’ sound. Water voles live in colonies but string themselves out along a watercourse.
Water voles have undergone one of the most serious declines of any wild mammal in Britain during the 20th century. The intensification of agriculture in the 1940s and 1950s caused the loss and degradation of habitat, but the most rapid period of decline was during the 1980s and 1990s as American mink spread. Between 1989 and 1998, the population fell by almost 90 percent.
Habitat loss and destruction is the major threat to the the water vole. Competition for habitat and food sources with the Muskrat and Coypu, Habitat modification, including draining of suitable wetlands, dredging, canal-building, disturbance by human activity and livestock, etc., drastic variations in water level caused by dams or seasonal droughts, along with the increasing pollution due to industrialization are the major threats.

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