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Canada's Species   Mammals

Meadow Vole

Microtus pennsylvanicus

Although very similar in appearance to the prairie vole, the meadow vole shows no such similarity in its behaviour. Despite the fact that the meadow voles are colonial they are anything but social. They are very aggressive towards other voles, whether they are strangers or a vole from the same commune. Theses little creatures occupy the meadows and marshes of Canada from coast to coast. Tests conducted on the longevity of the meadow vole show it to be one of the shortest lived mammals. Of all the voles that were recorded only 12% survived to the ripe age of eleven to twelve months, while the normal life span was closer to a month. The short life span leads to a lack of stability of the population and a rapid turn over rate from one generation to the next. Meadow voles feed upon grasses, sedges, seeds, bark, and if need be even wood.

Map of Meadow Vole in Canada
Distribution of Meadow Vole in Canada

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