pine vole (Microtus pinetorum scalapsoides)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Not confirmed.
CHARACTERISTICS: This is a small mouse with a short tail and a total
length of 100 -145 mm long and a weight of 21-56 grams. . The body is
cylindrical, slender, and modified for a semi-fossorial life. Their auburn fur
is soft and thick, and does not have the scattered long guard hairs found in
most other voles. The ears and eyes are reduced in size. The breeding sea-
son is likely to be throughout the year with a peak in July with 1-4 litters of
3-4 young being produced each year. A single burrow system and nest may
accommodate social groups containing many adults of both sexes and
their young. Primary predators include barn owl, long-eared owl, screech
owl, red-tailed hawk, broad-winged hawk, marsh hawk, pilot black snake,
red fox, and gray fox. Densities are usually greater in orchards than in
natural hardwood forest. The life span is at least 18 months.
DISTRIBUTION: This subspecies occurs throughout the state except
in the very western and southern sections of the state. This species can
occur in a variety of habitats from deciduous and pine forest to grassy fields.
It prefers habitats with well drained soils and a thick ground cover of either
forest litter or vegetation. High densities are found in orchards the since the
food supply is greater, and because grass and forb growth is enhanced
by frequent mowing and fertilization.
FOODS: Grasses and forbs are the main part of the diet for voles that live
in orchards. For those that live in deciduous or pine forest the diet consists
of forbs and seeds. Grasses and forbs are consumed in the summer
followed by fruit and seeds in autumn, and bark and roots in the winter.
Crooked Run Valley