Common Names Woodland vole, pine vole
The woodland vole is characterized by its mole-like small eyes and small ears that are often concealed by fur. They have short fur which is usually chestnut brown down the back, lighter brown down the sides and a belly of silvery grey. This vole is often smaller than the eastern meadow vole and larger than the southern red-backed vole. Males and females do not show any difference in size.
Length: 83-120 mm total, tail length: 15-40 mm.
Mass: 14-37 g.
The woodland vole spends the large majority of its time in networks of underground burrows and is rarely seen above ground. Their shallow burrows and tunnels are created 3-12 inches under the ground through leaf litter and dry loamy soils. They prefer dryer forests and meadows, but have been found in swampy areas. Little is known about the “natural” habitat of woodland voles as they have mostly been reported to reside into human-cultivated agricultural lands such as orchards. The woodland vole is not found in the western United States.
They have confirmed presence in the Champlain Valley, Northern Vermont Piedmont, Northeast Highlands, and the Southern Vermont Piedmont regions of Vermont.
Vermont Biophysical Regions
Type: Predominantly herbivore
Their mostly plant-based diet consists of tubers, roots, leaves, nuts, shoots, seeds, and bark. They will occasionally eat insects and berries. They store food in their burrow for the winter.
The woodland vole starts breeding in the mid to late winter and will continue to breed through the late fall. Females will have 1-4 litters per year, each with a gestation period of 20-24 days. They will have around 1-5 young. Woodland voles mate for life and have strong monogamous relationships. The woodland vole reaches sexual maturity around 3 months and has an average life expectancy of 3 months but have been known to live up to a year.
- Vermont: S3 (Vulnerable)
- Global: G5 (Secure)
- IUCN Red List: Least Concern
Photo 21576958, (c) Nick Tepper, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC) / Cropped from original