Water vole news from Britain

This is a water vole video from Britain (featuring a mallard).

From Wildlife Articles in Britain:

Efforts to Increase UK Water Vole Numbers Prove Successful.

by Laura Coyle

May 13, 2015

With numbers as low as 220,000 in 2004, it is thought that the UK’s water vole population has plummeted by more than 90% since the 1960s.

The cause of this decline is largely due to American mink – water voles’ biggest predators. In 1929, American mink were brought to the UK for fur farming but subsequently escaped into the wild resulting in the water vole now being nationally-protected mammal and one of the UKs fastest declining mammals.

Efforts have been made to help stop the decline with traps being issued to farmers and landowners in East Yorkshire to help to reduce the amount of escaped minks and boost water vole populations.

So far, the traps have proven successful with reports showing that traps in Tophill Low Nature Reserve, near Driffield, had caught 4 mink in 1 month, a substantial increase in comparison to the previously reported 1 every 6 months.

The Canal & River Trust, in 2014, planned to “create vole-friendly soft banking and a reed bed on the Essex and Hertfordshire border”, along the River Stort. The hope for this new habitat was that it would give the voles a place to burrow and hide from predators such as mink.

In 2014, it was reported that, for the first time in 20 years, water voles were recorded in the Scottish Highlands. The voles were spotted at RSPB Scotland’s Insh Marsh reserve in Badenoch and Strathspey.

This re-introduction in Scotland is thought to be due to the Scottish Mink Initiative who, since 2011, has eradicated mink from Northern Scotland, including the Cairngorms National Park and Insh Marshes which has subsequently allowed water voles to re-establish themselves.

7 thoughts on “Water vole news from Britain

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