How do water voles live?

Water voles are one of the rarest burrowing mammals in the UK, and are an endangered species. Chris Packham uses a man-made burrow to investigate water voles. They like to spend a lot of time in the water, and their burrows can sometimes be seen in the muddy banks of rivers. Packham describes how their burrows have defence features like underwater entrances or swamped U-bends to protect them from predators. Baby water voles (pups) are born underground but at 14 days old must start to learn to swim. Waterproof fur helps the voles to shake water off their fur so they can dry quickly. Unlike other aquatic mammals like otters, water voles do not have webbed feet. When the water voles are outside, they stay out of sight of predators in covered runs, hidden under the long grass.

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6 minutes

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