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Canada's Species   Mammals

Prairie Vole

Microtus ochrogaster

The prairie vole is one of the smaller members of the Muridae family. It has a limited distribution in Canada, localized mainly in the dry grassland plains of southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta. The prairie vole is a colonial and social creature. It is quite tolerant of other voles, and will share its nest and food with up to nine other voles. These voles excavate an intricate system of underground burrows which can sometimes attain a length of 120 metres. The burrows are mainly utilized for feeding; the voles will normally bring any foodstuffs that they have collected and place them in the burrows for later consumption. The diet of the prairie voles consists of a wide variety of green forbs and grasses in the summer months. In the winter prairie voles rely heavily upon their food reserves which consist mainly of seeds and other herbaceous material.

Map of Prairie Vole in Canada
Distribution of Prairie Vole in Canada

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