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Woodland Vole, Microtus pinetorum

This small rodent, Woodland Vole, which spends most of its time in underground tunnel systems, is found across the state. Its other name, Pine Vole, refers to the habitat where the first specimen was collected, not necessarily its preferred habitat.

Description:  A small, stocky rodent with short legs, large head, and small eyes and ears.   The short, furred tail, which is dark above and slightly lighter below, is about the same length as the hind foot.   Their fur is reddish-brown above with a dark gray under color, and is paler on the sides. Belly is grayish washed with buff; hairs are dark at the base.

Length:  3.3 - 5.8 inches
Tail:  
0.6 - 1.0 inches
Ears:
0 .4 inches
Weight: 
0.75 - 2.0 ounces

Similar Species:
Prairie and Meadow Voles have longer tails.
Rock Voles have yellow noses and longer tails.
Southern Red-backed Vole has a bright reddish band running along the back from head to tail.
•**Detailed analysis of dental formations, and possibly an expert, would be needed to distinguish it from Southern Bog Lemming.

Habitat: Woodland Voles occur in a variety of habitats, both in open lands and in woodlands.   They occur in fields next to wooded areas, along fencerows, and in orchards, gardens, and thickets along forest edges.

Diet: They are mostly herbivores, but will occasionally eat insects and carrion.   Major foods include roots, tubers, sprouts, bark, stems, leaves, nuts, berries, and fruit.

Breeding information: Woodland Voles breed nearly year round with the peak occurring in early spring.   Females deliver several litters a year in underground nests built of dead grasses, leaves, and rootlets lined with fine pieces of grass.   Gestation lasts from 21-24 days.   Litters range in size from 1-8 (usually 2-4) young.   Weaning occurs at 16-21 days old.

Status in Tennessee: There are no conservation concerns for this vole as they may be abundant in certain areas.

Fun Facts:
•Woodland Voles live in colonies.
•Home ranges typically occupy ¼ to 1/2 acre.

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