Water vole sniffing the air (c) Robert North

European water vole

Water voles are widespread around Europe, living in the banks of slow moving rivers, streams and other waterways. The waterside burrows of these strong swimmers have many floor levels that hinder flooding, as well as nesting chambers and a food store for the long winter months. Although water voles are a quick meal for many predators, the UK population suffered a catastrophic level of predation by the American mink. Water voles are often mistaken for rats. Ratty, in Kenneth Grahame's 'The Wind in the Willows', was actually a water vole.

Scientific name: Arvicola amphibius

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Eurasian water vole,
  • Water rat,
  • Water vole

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Distribution

The European water vole can be found in a number of locations including: Europe, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the European water vole distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Behaviours

Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Stable

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Rodents
  6. New World rats and mice
  7. Arvicola
  8. European water vole

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