Scientific Name: Microtus pinetorum
Taxonomy Group: Mammals
Range: Ontario, Quebec
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2010
Last COSEWIC Designation: Special Concern
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Special Concern
Image of Woodland Vole
One of the smallest rodents in North America, the Woodland Vole weighs between 20 and 37 g. It has a stocky body with small eyes, inconspicuous ears and a short tail. The dorsal fur is chestnut coloured; the lower parts are buffy-grey.
Distribution and Population
The Woodland Vole is found in the temperate deciduous forest zone across most of the eastern United States. The northern limit of its range is in southwestern Ontario (several localities) and extreme southern Québec (three localities). Individuals are rarely seen or captured, and no estimates of absolute density or population trends are available for Canada.
This vole is associated with deciduous forests in areas of soft, friable, often sandy soil beneath deep humus, where it can burrow easily.
Woodland Voles are active year round and are capable of reproducing throughout the warm season. The gestation period is 24-25 days and litter size varies from one to four. The young are weaned at three weeks. Adults forage in runways below the litter or in deeper burrows. Their vegetarian diet consists of fruits, roots, seeds, leaves, etc. In provision for winter they usually store tubers. Their predators are mostly raptors and carnivorous mammals, such as domestic cats and dogs.
In southeastern Canada, suitable habitat is steadily being fragmented or lost to agriculture, urbanization and industrialization. Predation by dogs and cats may be having an impact as well.
Federal ProtectionMore information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
Recovery Progress and Activities
Summary of Progress to Date The Woodland Vole is confined to small areas of habitat and recent research suggests that these areas are being lost at a steady rate. Summary of Research/Monitoring Due to the Woodland Vole’s low population densities and its fossorial lifestyle of digging and burrowing, it cannot be monitored easily. Populations of Woodland Voles were found within the counties of Elgin, Kent, and Haldimand-Norfold during inventories conducted in 1986. However, voles were not located during surveys within Walpole Island, Wellington County, and the Waterloo region in 1986, or within the Hamilton-Wentworth municipality in 1991. Summary of Recovery Activities Conservation land agreements are being developed by government agencies with private land owners which will secure Woodland Vole habitat from development. The Ontario government reinstated Ontario’s Managed Forest Tax Rebate Program to protect and enhance woodlands. URLs Ontario’s Biodiversity: Species at Riskhttp://www.rom.on.ca/ontario/risk.php?doc_type=fact&lang=&id=286 Natural Resources Canada: Forest-Dwelling Species at Riskwww.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/sof/sof98/spart4_e.html
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
5 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- Management Plans (1 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Document Posting Plans (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
COSEWIC Annual Reports
Recovery Document Posting Plans
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